Rehabilitation and therapies

Dr Julia Selby in consultation with a patientDaily activities can prove challenging for people with heart and lung conditions. As well as helping with recovery after a procedure, our expert therapists support patients to manage long-term conditions, cope with their symptoms and boost their independence and confidence.

Our rehabilitation and therapies services are designed to provide care for the ‘whole’ patient, from exercise rehabilitation to psychological therapies and dietetics.

The Trust’s experts in recovery and therapy include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, speech and language therapists and clinical psychologists.

Working collaboratively as multi-professional teams, our experts are able to consider all the needs of patients as they recover from treatment and tackle daily life.

Patients with persistent coughs find support at Royal Brompton Hospital

A new support group was launched at Royal Brompton Hospital this year for patients with conditions that affect the upper airways – such as persistent coughs.

Hosted by Dr Julia Selby, clinical lead speech and language therapist for the upper airway service, and speech and language therapists Beth Tidmarsh and Emma Bailey, ‘The Voice of Upper Airway’ group meets several times a year to hear the about the latest treatments and advice on managing conditions.

Members are also able to share and potentially learn from each other’s personal experiences, and provide feedback about their care.

Dr Selby said: “Most of the patients in the group have incredibly debilitating coughing fits on a regular basis. These can make it hard to carry out even the most basic daily tasks. Some even end up in hospital requiring urgent care – with clinicians unsure about the proper method of treatment for their condition.

“GPs can often misdiagnose these patients’ conditions as they can vary so much. Patients can end up feeling confused, and isolated or alone with their condition. To be able to meet up and discuss their experiences with others is hugely beneficial.

“I am hugely pleased that we’ve been able to get this project off the ground: these patients are central to our care, and it’s been amazing because we’ve been able to include them in shaping how the group is run.”

Group member Florest Cambran from Wallington, South London, said: “I find myself gasping for breath and I’ve ended up hospitalised on numerous occasions. Even though I am an intensive care nurse and used to helping others, when you can’t breathe yourself it is absolutely terrifying.

“I have been following prescribed speech and language exercises, which have really helped, but I’m looking forward to getting more support from this group.”

The Voice of Upper Airway’ group meets several times a year to hear the about the latest treatments and advice on managing conditions

Harefield cardiac rehabilitation programme ranks highly in national audit

An independent national audit awarded Harefield’s cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programme a coveted ‘green’ certification, placing it in the top 20 per cent of services in the UK.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive exercise, education and behavioural development programme. Introduced to patients at an appropriate stage of their recovery, it aims to improve not only their physical, but also their social and psychological condition.

The National Audit of CR is an annual joint project between the British Heart Foundation and the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. For the first time, the audit adopted a new approach to give a national picture on the quality of CR delivery for 229 UK programmes.

National standards of care were analysed under seven key performance indicators (KPIs), including how quickly the service gets patients into rehabilitation after their cardiac event, how thorough the assessments are and the length of time spent using the service. To achieve green status, services must meet all seven KPIs.

Heather Probert, specialist physiotherapist in cardiac rehabilitation, said: “The team is incredibly proud. This certification is proof that our patients are receiving the best possible level of cardiac rehabilitation.”

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