Respiratory team goes into community to help patients

Date: 26 February 2019

elderly care

Oxfordshire people with long term respiratory illnesses are benefitting from a pilot project which aims to improve the care of patients through earlier identification of disease, enhancing holistic and end of life care and providing extra focus on people at risk of emergency hospital admissions.

People in North Oxfordshire living with COPD and asthma have visited the first community-based clinic now running in Chipping Norton as part of the integrated respiratory team pilot project, set up late last year by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), supported by pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (BI). 

OCCG, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUHFT), Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (OHFT), and Oxfordshire County Council have worked together to design the pilot to run in the North and Oxford City localities of the county, initially until 2020. Respiratory illnesses are more common in those areas than in other parts of the county. Community-based clinics will also run at Horsefair Surgery for patients in Banbury and at St Bartholomew's Medical Centre for patients in Oxford. 

The new integrated team enhances existing community, hospital-based and primary care by providing a  consultant to work in the community alongside additional respiratory nurses and physiotherapists working with respiratory GPs, a dedicated psychologist, a pharmacist, dedicated smoke-free advisor from Smokefreelife Oxfordshire, (the county council's stop smoking service partner) and a specialist in palliative care support. The project is being staffed by NHS clinicians and other professionals from OUHFT, OHFT and local GPs. 

Dr Karen Kearley, who is leading the project on behalf of OCCG, said:  "This project creates an opportunity for a range of health professionals involved in the care of adult patients with COPD and asthma to work more closely alongside each other to share expertise and support each other to provide high quality care for patients.

"We anticipate it will improve all round patient care by increasing the resources available in the community and primary care setting, including mental health, public health and palliative support where required.

“We aim to provide more care at home and closer to home to reduce the risk of people having to be admitted to hospital and to improve their ongoing symptoms.

“We are excited about enhancing the support to patients to manage their condition, through greater awareness of the role of cold homes and indoor and outdoor air quality. All staff providing care and support to patients within this project are employed by the NHS.

“Our health provider and public health partners in this project welcome working with Boehringer Ingelheim as partners.”

Dr Juliet Roberts, medical director at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “We are pleased to be supporting this dedicated multidisciplinary team in re-evaluating their pathway to improve outcomes for their patients with respiratory problems.

“Innovative projects like this are developed and operated within a joint working framework. The Department of Health and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry developed this framework to enable NHS organisations and the pharmaceutical industry to pool skills, experience and resources in a transparent way to deliver successful projects to benefit patients."


Notes for editors

Working with Boeringher Ingelheim:

  • OCCG will use the joint project funding to commission the local NHS healthcare providers to deliver the IRT workforce, interventions, outputs and outcomes for the period of the project. Some of this funding comes from Boeringher Ingelheim (BI). OCCG and local NHS healthcare providers will provide all clinical care and support and take full responsibility for clinical decision-making. BI will not employ any NHS operational staff. Only non-promotional BI staff will be involved in the project and will have no influence over the clinical and prescribing decision-making of the NHS staff. Any BI promotional staff engaging with providers or clinicians in Oxfordshire will not use the project to gain access or favour within Oxfordshire.
  • For the conditions targeted by this project there are multiple pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatment options available. Any medicines used will be dependent on the agreed Oxfordshire Medicines Formulary. No use of BI’s medicines is implied or required within the scope of this project. Improved diagnosis and management of the conditions outlined may result in increased and earlier use of appropriate medications, some of which may be BI medicines. However, this is not the reason for the design of this project and there is and will be no influence placed on NHS staff to use BI medicines.
  • Ownership of the data and information generated as part of the project will rest with the relevant NHS organisations involved as Data Controllers. BI will have no access to patient identifiable or pseudonymised data, only fully anonymised and aggregated data will be shared with BI in the course of the project and its evaluation. Any sharing of data with BI will be governed by UK data protection law, OCCG’s information governance framework and a Data Sharing Agreement agreed and signed between OCCG and BI;
  • All intellectual property from the project (including all developments and materials) and its evaluation will be freely shared in the public domain and will be free for the NHS to use.
  • BI agrees to signpost other NHS organisations to OCCG regarding the development and operation of the IRT. Oxfordshire CCG agrees to be a reference site for future BI partnership projects.


  • Summary:

    Respiratory illness pilot project.

  • Transformation:
  • Date:
    26 February 2019