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Update - BLF nurses celebrate their first birthday

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VOL: 103, ISSUE: 8, PAGE NO: 38

The first British Lung Foundation (BLF) nurse took up her post in Bristol in February 2006. Twelve months later, 23 BLF nurses are delivering specialist respiratory care in the community for people living with lung disease. The posts are funded in partnership with local PCTs in Bristol, Calderdale, Central Lancashire, Oldham, Sefton and the Greater Glasgow Health Board.

The first British Lung Foundation (BLF) nurse took up her post in Bristol in February 2006. Twelve months later, 23 BLF nurses are delivering specialist respiratory care in the community for people living with lung disease. The posts are funded in partnership with local PCTs in Bristol, Calderdale, Central Lancashire, Oldham, Sefton and the Greater Glasgow Health Board.

The role of the BLF nurses is to improve quality of life, prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, support early discharge, deliver care to people at home, manage pulmonary rehabilitation and organise specialist nurse-led clinics. They work closely with health professionals and social care in primary and secondary care to share skills, knowledge and expertise and ensure that patients receive integrated services.

Catherine Kelly, nurse manager at the BLF in London, said: 'One of the key themes of the nurse's role has been to cut across boundaries and breakdown barriers to ensure integration and provide a seamless pathway of care.'

According to the BLF around 3,000 people with lung disease received a consultation from a BLF nurse during the year. At least 50 hospital admissions were avoided in England and approximately 28% of those patients in Glasgow who were reviewed by a BLF nurse were discharged within five days with home support.

The BLF is now exploring funding opportunities to extend this initiative to Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as providing additional nurses in Scotland and England. Ms Kelly commented: 'To have 23 nurses in one year is a major achievement when we set out to have five. It is a vision to expand the nurse network in the coming year.'

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