Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Lung patients take part in scheme

Terence Ward from Lisburn.L0CAL patients with a chronic lung conditions are taking part in a new pilot scheme which will allow them to lead independent lives at home.

Sufferers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are now using latest telehealth technology to help them manage their condition at home

The Telehealth pilot project, operated by the Community Respiratory team at the Lagan Valley Hospital and Belfast telehealth company, Quality Healthcare at Home, is proving very popular with patients.

Selected patients receive a health monitor in their homes which allows them to measure and record their own signs each day. The Community Respiratory team reviews the medical history of each patient and their medications, and sets the normal limits for vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature and the level of oxygen in their blood.


The monitor gathers daily information on each person's condition, which is sent down the patient's standard phone line to the Telehealth Care Centre in Belfast. Information is then reviewed by a telehealth nurse and if a noticeable change is detected an escalation call is then raised to the hospital's Community Respiratory team.

Respiratory nurse Barbara Hanna and respiratory physiotherapist Gail McKeown run the service at Lagan Valley Hospital.

Barbara spoke of the benefits: "The real benefits are in people becoming far more informed and confident about their own condition. They can clearly see for themselves when their condition is worsening and we have that early warning that allows us to act quickly to stop it in its tracks and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions."

Paul Murphy, Director Telehealth for Quality Healthcare at Home, said, "We are looking, along with the Trust, at the clinical outcomes and patient benefits of Telehealth for COPD patients. The results so far have been excellent, showing a dramatic reduction in the need for unnecessary visits by the Respiratory Support Team."

Ulster Star