New strategy tackles respiratory diseases

People with respiratory diseases could benefit from plans announced by the UK government.  The government outcomes strategy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma aims to improve the lives of patients with breathing difficulties by coordinating the efforts of the NHS, social care and voluntary organisations.  ‘We want to liberate the NHS and give staff the freedom to work across boundaries with patients and other professionals to provide a more responsive and personalised NHS,’ said health secretary Andrew Lansley.

Catherine Thompson, vice chair of the Association for Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care, commented: ‘This represents a great opportunity for respiratory physiotherapists to “fly the flag” about what we can offer for the management of COPD and asthma. Physiotherapists are well placed to work across traditional organisational boundaries and help the NHS deliver a seamless transition of care between services and providers, and deliver care closer to home.’

The outcomes strategy stresses the importance of patient access to reliable information about managing their condition. In line with this the association is currently producing a series of patient information leaflets to guide patients through selected physiotherapy techniques.

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Physical activity programme

A series of five online courses that comprehensively explore physical activity and the related role of physiotherapy / physical therapy