Respiratory - Therapy services

Lancashire Asthma & Airways Service

The physiotherapists within this service are specialists in managing breathing pattern disorders and are trained in Buteyko and breathing pattern disorder management techniques.  Breathing pattern disorders occur when a person’s normal breathing pattern is disrupted either by acute illness, anxiety or long term conditions such as asthma.  As a result of this disruption patients can experience significant breathlessness, air hunger or difficulty breathing in, commonly known as air hunger. This breathlessness is normally in excess of what would be expected in the patient’s underlying chest problem.   Physiotherapy retrains the breathing pattern to reduce these symptoms.  Patients within this service are managed jointly by a team including Doctors, Asthma Nurses, Speech therapists and psychologists.  Referrals should be made to the team via the Asthma and Airways team consultants.

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Bronchiectasis Service

Bronchiectasis is a respiratory condition leading to increased sputum production and recurrent chest infections if not managed appropriately. Physiotherapy is the main treatment for this condition. This physiotherapy lead service helps patients manage their condition though advice on infection and lifestyle management. Patients are supported to identify an appropriate chest clearance regime which manages their condition, but fits in with their lifestyle. Referrals to this service are via consultant led teams.

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CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure) Clinic

CPAP is recommended as a treatment option for adults with moderate to severe symptomatic obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS). Diagnosed both on severity of symptoms (daytime sleepiness) and by sleep study. Patients are set up with a CPAP machine as an outpatient and reviewed regularly to assess their compliance and symptoms. It is consultant lead with a clinical lead physiotherapist and Senior Physiologist undertaking the assessments.

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Hyperventilation and Sputum Induction Services

The Hyperventilation service is part of the Airways Service, a team of health professionals whom predominantly treat people with Complex Asthma, Vocal Cord Dysfunction, Chronic Cough and Hyperventilation.

A physiotherapist retrains the patient in being able to breathe more normally and efficiently once the patient has been diagnosed as having a ‘dysfunctional breathing pattern’. This may manifest as a disproportionate or inexplicable level of breathlessness experienced during daily life. A Consultant Respiratory Physician will assess the patient first, before referring to the physiotherapist for treatment.

Sputum Induction forms part of a range of assessment methods which enable the Airways Team to diagnose Asthma as well as plan treatment in confirmed cases of Asthma.

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Home Oxygen Service –Assessment and Review Team (HOS-AR)

Home Oxygen is prescribed for those with long term low oxygen levels (chronic hypoxia). The HOS-AR team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals is made up of highly skilled Nurses and Physiotherapists, who provide assessments and reviews for those in the Greater Preston, and Chorley and South Ribble area.

The aim of the HOS-AR team is to increase the value of oxygen therapy as a treatment for people who need it in a way that is safe, clinically effective, cost efficient and, above all, patient-centred.

Hence the team works to:

•   Optimise benefit from oxygen therapy

•   Reduce harm from trips, falls, smoking, fire and oxygen toxicity

•   Maximise value from oxygen equipment use

•    Improve patient experience of having and using home oxygen.

Patients who are referred for Home Oxygen must have treatment for their underlying health condition optimally managed. Therefore all referrals must come via a Doctor or a Clinical Specialist.