Richard Geall from the Gosport and Fareham Breath Easy group talks about their successful first year together
The Gosport and Fareham Breathe Easy Group, is a British Lung Foundation (BLF) initiative to raise awareness and understanding of respiratory problems.
It has continued to receive support and encouragement from Queen Alexandra’s (QA) respiratory department, pulmonar rehabilitation physiotherapists and local GPs from the 11 surgeries in the area.
Originally mentored by the long-standing Portsmouth Breathe Easy Group, chaired by Eric Compton, it has grown to a membership of more than 100 people, with regular monthly attendance of up to 30 or 40 members.
The BLF currently provide some financial help, on the condition we have at least eight medical speakers a year, but any local funds raised remain with the area.
It has been a very worthwhile year and meeting and talking with senior consultants, physios and researchers from QA has proved rewarding for everyone. Working with the researchers in particular has led to some interesting developments.
From a talk in January about a new inhaler being trialled and the need for the researchers to have at least 100 volunteers to help, all the local Breathe Easy groups proved invaluable support and as a consequence the Ellipta inhaler is now being prescribed by GPs.
Participants in the trial felt they had an input into shaping the developments of their condition and the researchers now have a bank of volunteers to call upon for further research.
Ongoing trials include a system of self-monitoring and management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and how this can potentially reduce the burden on the NHS.
Unfortunately, one major theme has arisen from several meetings which was met by stunned silence by the group: QA hospital cannot currently directly access GP patient files.
This means that, except for major emergencies, the medics at QA have to find out what medication a patient is using, then record it on their files before meaningful treatment can begin.
When discharged from QA, the files are then sent to the patient’s GP by post, which has taken two to three weeks and are then transferred onto the patient’s records.
With today’s secure technology, it seems to be an unnecessary extra burden on clinicians, which can easily be rectified.
The next meeting is on Thursday from 2pm to 4pm atGosport Leisure Centre.
For more e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (023) 9216 2130.