juliecuthbert February 5, 2024

Monthly shout-out: Respiratory Nursing Team

Congratulations to the community respiratory nurses from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust for their work to support people with learning disabilities who have COPD.

The team identified that specific patient groups were facing barriers to receiving information for them to self-manage their COPD. Lead nurse Hiedi Swift and Learning Disability Nurse Sarah Atkinson have worked with the respiratory nursing team to develop a COPD action plan for patients with learning disabilities.

The plan was adapted to make it more pictorial to allow patients to interpret it more easily. This will help them to identify problems earlier and reduce the chance of hospital admission and GP contact.

The COPD self-management plan is coloured so patients with Autism can use it more easily and read it with comfort. The inside of the plan retains the traffic light system as most patients can follow this. The biggest change has been the actions, which have been changed from written directions to pictures. The correct inhaler technique is also being added into photographs for the patients to check they are using their inhalers correctly.

Hiedi Swift, lead nurse for the project, said: “We wanted to ensure that all patients from all socio-economic backgrounds had the information they needed to help manage their COPD. Patients in the Mansfield area have varying barriers to communications, which can include poor literacy. By adapting the information for different groups, we can help prevent ill health for everyone who is affected by this long-term condition.”

The COPD learning disability plan is the first one developed in the UK.