Since 2019, AHSNs have been working on the delivery of care bundles on discharge from hospital for patients with COPD. AHSN work on the asthma discharge bundle commenced in early 2021. These bundles are designed to improve patient safety and to reduce readmissions to hospital and form part of the NHS Improvement-commissioned Adoption and Spread Safety Improvement Programme. Read more about our Adoption and Spread Safety Improvement projects.
On 9 November 2021, to coincide with COPD Awareness Month, the West of England AHSN ran a virtual event in collaboration with South West and Wessex AHSNs. This event ‘Beyond Bundles’ aimed to promote the use of the COPD and Asthma discharge bundles but also to look beyond them at other factors that can lead to readmissions, so that healthcare teams could start to address these while delivering the care bundles.
The event started with an overview of the priorities set by the respiratory network in the South West, presented by Dr Charlie Sharp, one of the network clinical leads:
Next, Mike McKevitt, Director of Services at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation outlined services they provide for patients as well as opportunities for collaboration between the charities and the NHS to improve patient experience:
This was followed by a powerful presentation by a patient who described her experience of multiple admissions with severe asthma.
Dr Robert Stone, lead for the South West Asthma Network then outlined the importance of measurement of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and use of biologic treatments in asthma management:
Increasing the use of these asthma innovations is the focus of two Rapid Uptake Product projects, which are being delivered by the AHSN Network. Read more about Rapid Uptake Products.
This was followed by a presentation by Sally Buckland, lead nurse for the high impact user team at Bristol Royal Infirmary outlining a successful approach (known as SHarED) to reducing recurrent emergency department attendances and how this might be applied readmitted with respiratory illnesses. This was an example of how projects in one area of practice can often be relevant to other areas of care. Read more about SHarED.
Dr Will McConnell, also a respiratory network lead, then gave a presentation outlining how interventions beyond the care bundles can impact on readmissions as well as tools to help predict readmissions. He included a live demonstration of a COPD insights tool used for population health management in Dorset:
The presentations were rounded off by Rachel Williams, clinical specialist respiratory physiotherapist and network lead. She challenged the audience to consider how we best bridge the gap between the hospital and the community. This focussed on effective communication with patients between members of the multi-professional team across the whole patient pathway:
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