A CLINICAL commissioning group has defended a decision to axe three health groups supporting people with serious lung conditions in Portsmouth.
Portsmouth CCG has decided to scrap the pulmonary rehabilitation groups that operate in Paulsgrove, Buckland and Eastney.
The organisations, which support about 150 people with various chronic lung conditions, will all be wound up by Thursday.
Linda Collie, chief clinical officer at Portsmouth CCG said the restructure of maintenance groups had been a ‘long-considered decision in light of increasing demand consistently outgrowing capacity’.
She added: ‘We have made it a priority to ensure that NHS-funded pulmonary rehabilitation maintenance continues to be provided for our patients, but in a more sustainable way.
‘We have discussed the proposed changes with all of the current participants in the pulmonary maintenance classes, and as a result of this we have worked in partnership with the Mountbatten Centre, who has a British Lung Foundation Active qualified instructor, to provide ongoing classes within the community.
‘Improved NHS healthcare provision and support for patients with chronic respiratory disease is a key priority within Portsmouth; this is supported by current plans to introduce more specialised respiratory service provision and support via a long-term conditions (LTC) hub in the spring.
‘We believe these changes to the pulmonary rehabilitation provision, couple with the piloting of an LTC hub, will continue to help people to keep themselves healthy and independent, building on expert advice and support from healthcare professionals, so that people are empowered and supported to remain active in the management of their own health.’