BOC Healthcare has this month begun providing pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) courses and home oxygen assessment and review (HOS-AR) services to patients living with respiratory conditions in Somerset.
This follows a contract award from Somerset NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which covers residents in Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, Taunton Deane and West Somerset.
BOC Healthcare, a member of The Linde Group and the UK’s largest medical gas business, won the three-year contract (with an option for an extra two years) in an open tender process. Under the contract, BOC Healthcare will provide a variety of community-based services for patients with respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
As part of the service, access to a six-week course of twice-weekly pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) education and exercise will be available to patients following initial assessment by BOC Healthcare’s respiratory specialists.
Patients are referred to the service by their GP or respiratory consultant and during the course are shown how to exercise safely and manage their breathlessness, within group classes under the supervision of BOC Healthcare’s respiratory specialists. Patients are encouraged and supported to continue to exercise at home after they complete the course. They also attend talks to learn about their respiratory condition so that they can better self-manage their health, reduce the risk of suffering exacerbations and maintain a good quality of life. The exercise and education programmes will be held at a number of venues across Somerset.
As well as the pulmonary rehabilitation, BOC Healthcare will support all patients within Somerset NHS CCG who require oxygen therapy at home. BOC Healthcare will assess and regularly monitor people using oxygen to ensure they are receiving the most appropriate level of oxygen therapy for their health needs.
Dr Steve Holmes, a GP and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group’s Clinical Lead for COPD, said: “Chronic lung disease is debilitating and difficult to live with. Even changes in the weather at this time of year can lead to a rapid deterioration in patients’ health and increase admission to hospital. BOC Healthcare has an excellent track record for providing respiratory services to a number of other CCGs in England and the improvements to services, including providing patients and their families advice and exercise classes closer to home, are sure to be welcomed.”
Spencer Langham, Clinical Lead at BOC Healthcare, commented “We look forward to working with Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and supporting patients and their carers. Our team of specialist nurses understand the challenges of living with respiratory conditions, and are committed to helping patients manage their condition and enjoy the best possible quality of life.”
The new contract with Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group is one of several community respiratory service contracts that BOC Healthcare has signed with NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups recently, bringing to a total of eight the number of community respiratory services that BOC Healthcare now delivers across the UK.
The service complements the range of high quality products and services BOC Healthcare offers, enabling healthcare partners to meet the clinical needs of their patients, in hospital, in the community and in patients’ homes.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) encompasses a number of long term lung conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The main cause is smoking but a small proportion will have inherited it (for example the Alpha 1 anti-trypsin Deficiency) and some will have occupation related COPD. Stopping smoking is the most effective way of slowing the progression of the disease and pulmonary rehabilitation improves quality of life and improves exercise tolerance.