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Northern Ireland physios welcome revised standards for respiratory care

12 November 2014 - 1:55pm

Physiotherapy staff in Northern Ireland have welcomed a revised framework intended to improve outcomes for people with respiratory conditions.


The revised service framework is open for consultation until 2 January

‘On the whole, we think it is a very positive document which makes sure that patients are getting the best quality care at the right time,’ said Jennifer Howard, chair of Northern Ireland’s regional respiratory physiotherapy network.

The revised service framework for respiratory health and wellbeing, from the health department, updates a version published in 2007. It is open for consultation until 2 January 2015.

It contains 56 standards covering respiratory conditions generally, as well specific conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

One of the standards is about training and Ms Howard said this was a ‘real opportunity’ to raise standards and make sure people with the right skills are in place to deliver care.

She had some concerns about resources, however, saying: ‘Many of the standards in the framework don’t need additional resources, they are about improving quality by maximising the use of existing resources, by service redesign or doing things differently.

‘But there are standards which do need additional support and funding for new services, and we will need to apply for those through commissioning processes.’

She gave the example of the new standard for all trusts to provide home oxygen services by 2017 and said that, although this service was established elsewhere in the UK, trusts in Northern Ireland needed to bid for funding to set up this type of service.

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