Better breathing clinics expand in Purbeck to meet ‘desperate need’

A new clinic to help those with breathlessness has been launched at Wareham Hospital by a hospice charity, following the success of its first clinic in Purbeck at Swanage Hospital.

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care, a charity that supports patients facing life-limiting illness and their families, started its first better breathing clinic in Swanage in 2021 and now it’s able to offer the same service in Wareham.

Wareham Hospital4

A new clinic for Wareham Hospital

Bringing specialist health care closer to home

Attending the launch alongside the Lewis-Manning staff at Wareham Hospital on Wednesday 15th March 2023 were local NHS district nurses and clinicians, Maggie Hardy from the Friends of Wareham Hospital and Lewis-Manning trustee Ian Marshall.

The clinics in Purbeck are part of Lewis-Manning’s new plan to bring specialist health care nearer to local communities, as well as continuing to offer services at its hospice in Poole in Dorset.

Lewis-Manning better breathing clinic launch at Wareham hospital

The Lewis-Manning team, left to right: Director of clinical services Hayley Bonner, respiratory specialist physiotherapist Louise Hopley, specialist occupational therapist Anna Lambert and chief executive Clare Gallie

“Expert and friendly staff”

Lewis-Manning’s director of clinical services, Hayley Bonner said:

“The hospice’s expansion of the breathlessness service is fantastic to see, we’ve had an outpouring from the community for a desperate need for this service. We are thrilled to be offering this service in Wareham, as part of our current strategy is to bring hospice care ‘closer to home’.

“It’s fantastic that we can do exactly that for patients who really value the ease of getting to a close-by clinic, but with the same expert and friendly staff that they would see in our Poole hospice.”

Opening of Lewis-Manning Hospice Care shop in Swanage.
Richard Crease

Lewis-Manning is funded by charitable donations including the proceeds from its shop in Station Road in Swanage

“Breathlessness can be frightening”

The service at both Wareham and Swanage is run by Lewis-Manning’s breathlessness team, which includes respiratory specialist physiotherapist, Louise Hopley and specialist occupational therapist, Anna Lambert.

Louise Hopley said:

“The service will run out of Wareham hospital on a Wednesday, with regular appointments available to patients needing help and support with their life-limiting condition.

“Breathlessness can be frightening. We help people with conditions, such as heart failure, COPD and lung cancer who struggle with breathlessness.

“The service is very patient centred – it is about listening to each person’s journey and their individual experience of breathlessness and how it impacts their lives.

“The assessment is an opportunity for me to learn about what coping strategies the individual already uses and together we look at other ways to help, such as breathing techniques, positions to ease breathlessness, and fan therapy.”

Lewis-Manning better brathing clinic launch at Wareham hospital with Maggie Hardy

Chair of Friends of Wareham Hospital Maggie Hardy (far right) with the Lewis Manning team, NHS district nurses and clinicians at the launch of the new clinic

“Valuable new service in Wareham”

The addition of a new clinic at Wareham Hospital is widely welcomed by the local community as many outpatient services had to be suspended or reduced during the Covid pandemic.

Revitalising investment in local health care provision is a top priority for the Friends of Wareham Hospital. Its chair Maggie Hardy said:

“The Friends of Wareham Hospital are delighted to see another service added to the many provided at the hospital and have been pleased to offer support to the Lewis-Manning team in the development of this valuable new service in Wareham.”

Further information

  • To access the service, patients need to be registered with a GP surgery. Any healthcare professional directly linked to a patient’s care can refer them to the breathlessness service.
  • To find out more, call 01202 708470 and ask to speak to the breathlessness team or visit Lewis-Manning’s website

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