Local respiratory team receive charity award


Local respiratory team receive charity award

The British Lung Foundation’s (BLF) local lung support group, Breathe Easy Derry nominated the Respiratory Team at the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) for the ‘Outstanding Healthcare in the Community’ Breath of Fresh Air award 2011.


The Respiratory team, consisting of consultant physician Dr Martin Kelly, respiratory coordinator Mary McMenamin, respiratory nurse specialists Helena Phelan, Celia Meehan and Bernie O’Hanlan were nominated for their outstanding support to both BLF Northern Ireland and Breathe Easy Derry. The team have offered their services at many of the monthly meetings held by the group by providing information sessions, lung function testing and campaigning events.


BLF NI and Old Library Trust Healthy Living Centre staff have been working collaboratively with Helena Phelan running a pilot project supporting patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. Helena has also overseen the development of Alec Given from the Old Library Trust, who was awarded a BLF Active bursary to undertake the Chronic Respiratory Disease Exercise Instructor’s Course at Loughborough College this year. Alec now works closely with the pulmonary rehabilitation team at Altnagelvin Hospital after successfully completing the course.


Nessie Blair, Development Officer for British Lung Foundation, Northern Ireland, said: “The 2011 Breath of Fresh Air Awards provides the BLF with an annual opportunity to say thank you to individuals who have made a significant difference in their regions. It has been a privilege for me to work in partnership with OLT management and staff, Western Trust Respiratory team and this vibrant Derry Breathe Easy Group.”


Derry Breathe Easy Chairperson Philomena Duffy, who presented the nomination certificate to the Western Trust, said, "Derry Breathe Easy has been an amazing support for those living with lung disease in and around the Creggan. The Western Trust has been a great support to the members of our group. Now that we have more knowledge we can manage our lung conditions better."


Congratulating the Respiratory Team on the nomination, Western Trust chief executive Elaine Way said it wasn’t surprising that their work had been recognised.


Mrs Way said: “The Western Trust’s Respiratory Team has been at the forefront of outreach into the community helping people with respiratory illness to live and remain in their own homes. This nomination is particularly significant in that it is the people who are using our services who are saying that these respiratory staff are exceptional.”


Seamas Heaney, Programme Director of Old Library Trust: "This collaborative working has been a marvellous experience. The Derry Breathe Easy Group is now one of our most successful programmes. Through the support of Nessie Blair we have now developed a shared working relationship with the Western Trust Respiratory Team and BLF in NI. This can only help to improve respiratory patient care in and around Derry."