Spectrum prison nurses win at the GP Awards 2017!

Spectrum’s Prison nurses in York have scooped a national healthcare award for their six-week programme supporting patients with chronic lung disease.

The healthcare team at HMP Full Sutton was crowned “Clinical Team of the Year (Respiratory)” at the General Practice Awards 2017, held at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel on 30th November.
Their award-winning programme combines gentle exercise, and education to improve the quality of life for patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the term for several lung conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Liz Littlewood MBE, Head of Healthcare at the prison, said:

“COPD is a chronic illness which progresses over time, and can cause increasing distress and breathlessness. In a prison environment, this means that many patients can struggle to cope with their daily routine and may require hospital admissions for ‘flare-ups’ of COPD. Spectrum’s Pulmonary Rehab Programme allows patients to better manage the symptoms of their lung disease, build up their exercise tolerance and learn more about lung health.”

“We’re delighted to receive this recognition from the GP Awards and to have been joined by so many finalists who showed real commitment to excellence. Prison healthcare is a field which has unique challenges, and our aim is always to manage these without compromising on care.”

COPD affects around 1.2million people and is the most common lung disease in Britain after asthma. Some people may experience symptoms for some time before diagnosis, or mistake early signs of COPD as a “smoker’s cough” – approximately 90% of all COPD cases are linked to cigarette smoking. . The prevalence of smoking and respiratory illness is generally greater among the prison population than in the community in general, so signposting patients who smoke towards smoking cessation services is also a key aim of the programme.

On the night, the award for the York team was collected by nurses from Spectrum’s Wakefield-based sexual health service (pictured), which was also shortlisted for an award.