Innovative new team developed to improve patient care

Innovative new team developed to improve patient care featured image

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has developed an innovative, new and collaborative team to focus on delivering excellent patient centred care.

The newly formed, regional tracheostomy team is based at Royal Preston Hospital and is a unique and ground-breaking collaboration which is the first of its kind in the UK and provides exciting opportunities for nurses and allied health professionals to develop their skills as tracheostomy clinical specialist practitioners. This role has been developed after a hugely successful pilot looking at the tracheostomy decannulation potential of patients across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Increasing numbers of people are being identified who have survived neurological injury and have been discharged into the community with the assumption that they will always need a tracheostomy (an opening created at the front of the neck to allow a tube to be inserted into the windpipe to aid breathing). However, with optimal specialist care and review many of these tracheostomies can be removed. The recent pilot study demonstrated the ability to remove tracheostomies in five patient cases over a number of months following specialist therapy programmes; improving patient outcomes and quality of life.

Significant investment has been secured from the Lancashire and South Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Groups to fund the 12 month tracheostomy team dedicated to the long term care and management of these patients across the region. The team will work with a variety of key stakeholders across primary and secondary care, including inpatient teams, community care providers, GPs, commissioners and families with the primary aims of investigating potential outcomes and quality of life of patients with long term tracheostomies.

The team is based at Royal Preston Hospital as part of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals and is led by Consultant Respiratory Physiotherapist, Rachael Moses. Numerous other clinicians will also be supporting the team including Dr David Shakespeare (Neuro Rehab Consultant), Dr Aash Vyas (Consultant Respiratory Physician) Claire Slinger (Consultant Respiratory Speech and Language Therapist), Andrew Fishburn (Clinical Nurse Specialist), Mr Arun Cardozo (Consultant ENT Surgeon) and Sandra Davey (Clinical Business Manager).

Rachael said: “Through the pilot, we have seen some wonderful patient stories of individuals regaining speech and being able to eat and drink normally as well as improvements in overall physical function and ability through this work. This initiative is also addressing the need for a more proactive approach to ensure all patients are identified and have their tracheostomy removed wherever clinically appropriate.”

“It is fantastic that we are now able to have this dedicated team focused on improving patient care and experiences; I am confident that it will make a massive difference. By being committed and dedicated, we really can change the lives of patients and challenge current care pathways.”

If you would like further information please contact the trache team via email [email protected]. The team are also looking for suitable patients with long term tracheostomies that need to be reviewed and accept referrals from all clinicians.

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