A hospital in East Anglia is celebrating 25 years of cystic fibrosis specialist nurses who are praised for helping patients to manage their condition at home and making the transition from children to adult services easier.
The first nurse of this kind started working at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in 1994 to give specialist care to patients with the genetic condition, which affects more than 10,000 people in the UK.
“We are better able to support young people in their transition to adult services”
At the hospital, the last 25 years has seen the team grow from one cystic fibrosis nurse to a team of three who look after those with the condition, as well as other respiratory conditions.
Cystic fibrosis specialist nurse for children, Alison Betteridge, said a big part of her role was supporting young patients to stay well at home with their families.
She said: “I’m pleased that ward staff know only a very few of the 70 patients living with cystic fibrosis we have locally.
“This is testament to the work the cystic fibrosis team, patients and their families for keeping children well and out of hospital.”
Ms Betteridge explained how the hospital had both children’s and adult centres for cystic fibrosis patients.
“Having the children’s and adult cystic fibrosis centres on one site gives us a huge advantage over many CF centres in the country, meaning that we are better able to support young people in their transition to adult services,” she said.
She explained how the team also went out to surrounding services to help support patients closer to home.
“We also go out to King’s Lynn for shared care patients and offer a local service at the James Paget University Hospital to enable a closer to home approach,” added Ms Betteridge.