Karen leads the way in improving educational programme for respiratory patients

Karen Donaldson, Clinical Lead and Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist from Kendal is leading the development of the pulmonary rehab education programme delivered to patients in South Cumbria.  Karen's aim is to use the skills of her staff to maximise the capacity of the programme, reducing waiting times to ensure that as many patients as possible can acess the programme that helps them to manage their own condition.

Karen's team is one of ten pioneer teams chosen to trial the 'listening into action',an approach used by the Trust to listen to frontline staff and take actions to imrpove services based on what they are saying.

“We want to set up a rolling programme of pulmonary rehabilitation in Kendal to increase the availability of places and reduce the waiting time to improve access to the programme. We also want to develop an education manual to accompany the educational component of the pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

Our actions so far include; sending a survey to GPs, Practice Nurses and Consultants to gather views on the ‘old’ style of service, a patient questionnaire was sent out to gather feedback on the educational material currently used and to ask for volunteers to form a patient review group to help with the design of the manual and a staff survey was completed by the Respiratory Team.

Data collection is underway and we are now putting together an audit of last summer’s pulmonary rehabilitation patients and this summer’s rolling programme patients to compare their journeys and outcomes. We are also planning the next stages for the education manual.

Our next step is to organise a stakeholder event for the educational manual and a patient group event to decide upon how the manual will look, what information will be included and how the manual will be used.

Since starting our Listening into Action journey we have greater self and colleague awareness of the strain we had been under and what we were still managing to achieve despite the difficult time we have had. This has started to adjust our working culture which will ultimately benefit the service sustainability in the long run. Our own staff have the answers to improve our service – change to services isn’t possible without their involvement in the process”