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Respiratory team in award success

09 May 2014

Health Care

Consultant chest physician Duncan Powrie and his team always knew their chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) psychology project would be a hit with patients. And so it has proved to be with a significant reduction in the number of admissions since the scheme started last year.

Now their innovation has been recognised nationally by none other than the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ). 

Duncan and his colleagues faced stiff scrutiny in front of the judging panel before learning the project was highly commended in the 'respiratory medicine team' category at the national awards ceremony held last night (May8) at the Park Plaza Hotel in Westminster. 

COPD is a progressive and deteriorating condition which frequently leaves individuals feeling anxious, panicky and depressed - and causes distress to those around them. 

Last year, with the aid of newly-recruited clinical psychologist, Hannah Osborne, they introduced a range of measures to help patients' mental state, alongside treatment for their physical condition. 

They included:

  • Self-help manuals for patients to manage their mood and anxiety
  • Training ward and community staff to recognise and manage emotional problems
  • Introduction of a six-week Breathe Well, Live Well course offering cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Introduction of a range of therapy services provided on either a one-to-one and group basis in the home as well as here and community venues.

Duncan said: "We set up the project because a number of COPD patients were being admitted frequently. We recognised that we were not addressing their psychological problems and so worked with our community colleagues at SEPT to make a difference." 

Chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell said: "I am absolutely delighted for the team to have had the fabulous work they do for our patients recognised on a national scale. Not all the categories had a highly commended award so they obviously impressed the judges to be singled out, and it is much deserved."