8th March 2019

Disabled children with respiratory problems will now have access to a new specialist service to help treat their needs.

The Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) Children’s Rapid Response Respiratory Physiotherapy service will provide specialist assessment, treatment and management of children with complex physical disabilities who have additional respiratory problems.

The service will work in the community, with the aim of reducing hospital admissions for these children.

It is made up of two parts – a preventative service including specialist respiratory physiotherapy assessment – and rapid response to children when they are acutely unwell with a chest infection.

Katie Clements, Professional Lead, Children’s Physiotherapy Service at LCHS  said: “Previously there has been no respiratory physiotherapy service in Lincolnshire for children with long-term conditions such as cerebral palsy, severe developmental delay and Down’s Syndrome.

“Evidence has shown that there is an increasing demand for specialist paediatric respiratory care in the community.

“This is being driven by a number of factors including more children surviving with multiple and profound impairments in whom respiratory pathology is a major factor to reduced quality of life, and life expectancy.

“This new service, which has just started in February 2019, aims to reduce hospital admissions for these children by managing them in the community and at home where they have all their specialist equipment when they become acutely unwell with chest infections.”

The preventative element of the service includes specialist respiratory physiotherapy assessment, preventative daily chest management plans and training for families, carers and schools in chest physiotherapy management strategies.

The rapid response part of the scheme includes a specialist emergency chest physiotherapy treatment service to help prevent hospital admissions, collection of cough swabs/sputum samples to provide information on appropriate use of antibiotics and close links with GPs and specialist hospital staff to ensure prompt provisions of required medication.

Katie is leading the service, having created two new Highly Specialist Children’s Respiratory Physiotherapy posts to staff it.

All children aged 0 to 19 with long term complex physical disabilities are eligible for the service and can be referred by any health care professional.

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