Creating a breathing space

What: A clinic to support the holistic needs of patients with advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Who: Matthew Hodson – Nurse Consultant

Background: Matthew completed his MSc in nursing at City University, where is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer and is currently studying for a Professional Doctorate in Nursing. He is also a non-medical prescriber. His main interests are COPD care, patient experience, education, oxygen therapy and advanced disease management.

Matthew is also a committee member of the BTS Nurse Advisory Group. He recently presented at the European Respiratory Society Conference in Vienna. More recently won the Nursing Standard Nurse of the Year for work around end of life care for people with advanced COPD. He has a passion for the patient experience which is fundamental to service redesign and is currently designing a COPD patient reported experience measure questionnaire. He is champion for nursing and promoting compassion care surrounded in the CNO’s. Matthew was awarded an MBE in the 2015 New Years Honours List in recognition of his work.

Approach: Promotion

Location: St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, London

Speciality: Hospital and community outreach services for patients with COPD

What initiative or project are you involved in?

The Breathing Space Clinic helps patients with COPD to better manage their symptoms, so that they can have a better quality of life.

Beyond reducing symptoms and the rate and severity of exacerbations, the aim of treatment is to increase exercise capacity and improve overall health and wellbeing. Nurses have an important role in ensuring that advance care planning is implemented for every patient.

What prompted the work?

COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the UK. An estimated three million people in the UK are living with COPD and there are over 25,000 deaths each year.

Despite the prevalence of COPD, there is very little support in place for sufferers. It was with this in mind that Matthew set up the Breathing Space Clinic in 2011.

How did you initiate the work?

Bringing together medical and physiotherapy colleagues at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Matthew set up a specialist palliative respiratory care clinic. He also established links with nearby St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney – an area with higher than average mortality rates from respiratory disease.

The quality of care was assessed using Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREMs), which were developed and evaluated by the clinic team.

What difference has the project or initiative made?

A recent audit report by the Royal College of Physicians shows that, whilst there has been a general improvement in acute care for patients with COPD, standards of care differ greatly across England and Wales.

What are the long-term objectives?

Respiratory clinical nurse specialists, such as those attached to the Breathing Space Clinic, are in a unique position to provide expert support and have a fundamental role in the management and support of patients while in hospital and the community.