Press release

HSE supporting thousands of COPD and asthma patients closer to home

Specialist HSE respiratory teams in Integrated Care Hubs are helping thousands of patients with COPD and asthma to be treated closer to home. Prevention, early detection, slowing of disease progression, and providing the best support for people to manage their COPD and Asthma is the aim of the hubs.

With 26 teams across the country, each team is based in an integrated care hub affiliated to an acute hospital. This allows patients to have their care needs met in a community setting, providing a better patient experience.

Associate Professor Stanley Miller, National Clinical Lead Respiratory, HSE, says: “Integrated Respiratory Teams deliver care closer to where people live, in line with the Sláintecare vision of ‘Right Care, Right Place, and Right Time’. Since January 2023, we have had 43,000 patient contacts to integrated respiratory services, shifting care away from hospitals. There have been 15,000 pulmonary rehabilitation patient contacts, helping to empower patients to manage their condition.”

There are significant benefits for patients, which aim to improve patient health and wellbeing, and support the patient to self-manage their condition. These benefits include:

  • integrated, holistic and personalised care to improve patient outcomes
  • timely specialist access
  • significant reduction in avoidable attendance and admission to hospital
  • the promotion of patient self-care.

Care pathways for patients with asthma or COPD focus on the prevention, early detection, slowing of disease progression, and the provision of optimal management for people with COPD and asthma.

One of the services provided by the specialist respiratory teams is pulmonary rehabilitation.

Joe Claffey from Dublin North Central shares his positive experience of the service, describing it as ‘good for the head and the body’.

He said, “Two years ago I couldn’t tie my shoe laces or put on my own socks without help. But when I went to the exercise classes, it totally changed my life. Now I can play football in the back garden with my grandchildren. The education part was very good. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was dealing with but it was great to hear how other people deal with things.”

New videos to support the management of COPD and asthma have been developed by the HSE and will provide further information for patients.

NCP Respiratory

NCP Videos

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