The North Bristol Lung Centre at Southmead Hospital supports patients with respiratory disease living in South Gloucestershire, including those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the fifth most common cause of death in the UK.
North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs Southmead Hospital, is working with Sirona Care and Health, a community health provider, on an integrated respiratory pathway. This new pathway aims to support and treat more patients in community settings rather than visiting hospital.
Referrals to the centre are assessed, and if appropriate, referred to Sirona nurses in the community. The centre has also supported Sirona in developing oxygen assessment for patients and community-based pulmonary rehabilitation programmes.
We are evaluating the effectiveness of the integrated respiratory pathway in treating people in the community. We will compare what happens to patients in South Gloucestershire to those in other areas, including Bristol and North Somerset. We will also look at how North Bristol NHS Trust and Sirona work together and support each other, which could provide an effective blueprint for other healthcare organisations to follow.
This research will inform policy both locally and nationally. We will work with commissioners at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to inform and shape future pathway development.