08/03/2019 | Press releases

New clinic to improve respiratory care

Respiratory patients are now being given rapid access to the expert help they need to keep them out of hospital following the launch of a new specialist clinic run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT).


The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) respiratory HOT clinic started seeing patients at Ipswich Hospital earlier this month. It offers specialist assessment and treatment for people in Ipswich and East Suffolk who are experiencing a flair-up of their condition, without the need to visit their GP or come into hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) first.

Its aim is to ensure patients can receive treatment in the most appropriate place to meet their needs before continuing their recovery at home. It comes in response to statistics which show there were 667 admissions to Ipswich Hospital during 2017 for COPD exacerbation, while 70% of those coming to ED with a flair-up could be treated safely and effectively outside of hospital with specialist input.


Paul Humphrey, specialist services manager for COPD at the hospital, said: “We are really pleased to launch this new clinic. We hope it will make a real difference to people with COPD by ensuring they quickly receive the support they need during a flair-up and can then continue their recovery at home.

“Evidence shows us that the majority of patients who come into ED with an exacerbation of their COPD will be admitted for one or two days, but actually require minimal intervention. This clinic allows us to carry out any specialist tests they may need, such as chest x-rays or blood tests, before administering medication or putting the support and follow up care in place to help them get back home without a stay on the wards.

“As well as taking the pressure off our GP colleagues and our ED, we also hope the clinic will help to improve the patient experience and free up beds by preventing unnecessary hospital admissions. This will be especially important during the rest of the winter, which is not only our busiest time but also the period when respiratory issues are most likely to flair up.”

The appointment-only clinic is currently running as a pilot on three days a week. GPs, ambulance staff and any other healthcare professionals are able to refer, while information has also been given to patients who have visited the ED more than twice in the past year so that they can self-refer.

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