A new team at Royal Preston Hospital – the first of its kind in the UK – is helping to change the lives of patients who have had tracheostomy procedures.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has developed the regional tracheostomy team to identify patients who could have tracheostomies removed.
The tracheostomy clinical specialist practitioners will also help patients to regain speech and improve the way they eat and drink.
It comes after a successful pilot scheme which saw tracheostomies – an opening created at the front of the neck to allow a tube to be inserted into the windpipe to aid breathing – removed from five patients following specialist therapy programmes.
Lancashire and South Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Groups are providing £135,000 to fund the 12 month tracheostomy team.
The team is led by consultant respiratory physiotherapist, Rachael Moses.
Rachael said: “Through the pilot, we have seen some wonderful patient stories of individuals regaining speech and being able to eat and drink normally as well as improvements in overall physical function and ability through this work.
“This initiative is also addressing the need for a more proactive approach to ensure all patients are identified and have their tracheostomy removed wherever clinically appropriate.
“It is fantastic that we are now able to have this dedicated team focused on improving patient care and experiences; I am confident that it will make a massive difference.
“By being committed and dedicated, we really can change the lives of patients and challenge current care pathways.”
The team is also looking for suitable patients with long term tracheostomies that need to be reviewed and accept referrals from all clinicians.
For more information contact the trache team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.