Our story so Far........Northamptonshire Health Foundation Trust are the lead organisation partnered with Northamptonshire Carers who manage the daily running of the project. In July ’16 The Project Manager Louise Shaw was appointed, followed quickly by the appointment of Pat Downer the Project Coordinator. Both these posts are managed by Northamptonshire Carers who support unpaid family Carers in Northamptonshire.
The launch of Breathing Space was held on 21st September 2016 and was attended by 65 members of the community, 30 with COPD including Carers and 35 professionals. We had 12 stakeholder Information Stands, 2 Workshops - Singing4Breathing Choir performance and workshop & Respiratory Exercise demonstration by Breathe Easy train and 2 Therapy Demonstration Stands
We were absolutely delighted with the numbers of people who attended the launch but most of all by the overwhelming enthusiasm and engagement by the people with COPD and informal Carers and by the stakeholder organisations participation.
Clinical Engagement. Formal arrangements with Dr James Findlay, a GP with specialist interest in Respiratory conditions were put in place in August, alongside that of Dr Mike Scanlan, mental health consultant and therapist whose role is to deliver psycho social support. Mikes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approach is offered as a one to one therapy to help people increase psychological flexibility to manage anxiety, depression, anger, phobias and traumatic events which can be associated with COPD exacerbations. This was followed by a service level agreement in October to include a presence at the groups by a RESTART Respiratory Nurse. A strong relationship with Northampton General Hospital Respiratory consultants is being built and we hope that they will inform and become involved in delivery as the service moves forward.
Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (NCCG) have shown great support for the project recognising the close links to the aims of their new Sustainable Transformation Plan (STP). Seed funding from The West Midlands Respiratory Improvement Programme is supplemented by CQUIN funding for Patient Activation Monitoring, the results of which NCCG will be looking to in evaluating outcomes related to self-management of long term conditions and wider effects of social prescribing and person centred support planning which are intrinsic to Breathing Spaces methodology. Breathing Space were invited to present to NCCG Governing Board 15th Nov ’16 and received an enthusiastic round of applause with great hopes that the project will be a tangible delivery tool for new models and approaches to health and wellbeing.