The BLF Nurse Programme was launched in February 2006 to provide specialist care for people with respiratory conditions. There are currently 73 BLF Nurses in 23 locations.
A badged nurse is an existing Respiratory Nurse Specialist but the benefit badging offers to Nurses and their Primary Care Organisations/Health Boards is the opportunity to work in partnership with a voluntary organisation whose main focus is in supporting patients, carers and families affected by respiratory disease.
Our Nurses form a growing community of respiratory specialists, with networking opportunities to share best practice provided by us through BLF-funded study days. We provide access to a network of national and local BLF events, including conferences, and the opportunity to connect up with patients and carers in approximately 200 local Breathe Easy groups.
Improving patient care
The BLF Nurses play a key role improving the quality of care for patients by reducing unplanned hospital admissions, facilitating early discharge, nurse led clinics in the community and improving patient self-management skills.
To ensure patients receive the most appropriate care the BLF Nurses are working closely with health professionals and social care across primary and secondary interface sharing skills, knowledge and expertise.
We also have specialist nurses on our helpline who are able to provide advice to healthcare professionals and the public.
The BLF Nurses have a major role in:
- providing information to patients and carers about lung disease
- sharing expertise with health professionals through delivery of structured education programmes as a specialist resource
The nurses are developing new ways of working to ensure respiratory patients receive the highest level of care in the community.
The service models they provide include:
- Early Supported Discharge
- Hospital at Home
- Specialist respiratory assessment either in a clinic or home setting
- Peripatetic Community Pulmonary Rehabilitation
- Ongoing support and end of life care
Evaluation of the BLF Nurse Programme
An independent evaluation of the BLF Nurse Programme has been carried out by Kings College London and is published in full or summary.
Funding has been secured from the Kings Fund for an innovative research project for a Respiratory Palliative care service in London which we believe is going to be the first in the country. This will be based with St George's Healthcare NHS Trust. As well as providing care to patients with end stage respiratory disease, the nurses will assist with the research project which is designed to identify verbal or non-verbal triggers for end of life discussion, care and appropriate environment in which this care and support should take place. The BLF will work closely with funders, academic partners on the project and its evaluation.