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​Respiratory Medicine

The Department of Respiratory Medicine at Dorset County Hospital houses a multi-disciplinary team offering a comprehensive investigation, diagnosis and management service for patients suffering from lung complaints, including:

- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Asthma
- Lung Cancer / Mesothelioma
- Bronchiectasis
- Interstitial Lung Diseases (e.g. fibrosing alveolitis)
- Management of Tuberculosis Infections
- Other respiratory illnesses

The department also specialises in less-routine respiratory problems, including:

- Sleep-related breathing disorders (including obstructive sleep apnoea, central sleep apnoea, hypoventilation disorders, and periodic limb movement disorder)
- Occupational disorders including asbestos-related lung disease and asthma
- Pre-operative diagnostic assessments for those with difficult and complex medical histories

The department offers an investigative and diagnostic respiratory medicine service for managing chronic lung problems and an acute service for those who suffer a sudden worsening of their chest condition (exacerbation), or for those who experience sudden onset of serious chest symptoms. The medical team also perform a range of endoscopic procedures, from basic bronchoscopies through to medical thoracoscopy ('keyhole' diagnosis & repair of pleural problems).

The department endeavours to deliver a coordinated outpatient service designed to shorten the patient journey, from initial referral through to diagnostic testing and initiation of treatment.

Respiratory Ward & Inpatient Services

The respiratory ward at DCH is Hinton. The medical consultants undertake daily ward rounds and daily presence for the care of inpatients is provided by the Specialist Registrars and a team of junior doctors. The ward team is assisted by a dedicated Respiratory Nurse Practitioner.

Dorset Adult Integrated Respiratory Service (DAIRS)

The DAIRS* service consists of a dedicated team working to reduce exacerbation rates in those patients with respiratory problems, particularly COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), and coordinate the assessment and follow up of home oxygen. They offer support in both the patient's home and in hospital, and the team aims aid early discharge from hospital with home follow-up, and prevent admissions by the early identification of 'at-risk' patients and working closely with primary care services. The DAIRS team also has access to some physiotherapy support.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

A Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) service is delivered in certain locations by the respiratory physiotherapists (in some other areas it is delivered by Dorset Healthcare University ​NHS Foundation Trust​). PR is targeted at individuals with particular lung disorders. This intervention has been shown to help to reduce patients' symptoms, increase quality of life and reduce exacerbations (recurrence of chest problems).

TB Service

One of our Respiratory Nurse Specialists is specifically trained in the management of Tuberculosis (TB). Her duties include identifying those people with TB infections and those with Latent TB. Screening is also carried out for new entrants into the country, and for healthcare workers. Individuals requiring private TB screening/inoculation for occupational or travel reasons can also be arranged.

Lung Cancer / Mesothelioma

Our Lung Cancer Nurse Specialists offer support to patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma and their carers. These nurses are accessible to patients, carers and members of the health care team throughout the full pathway of their care – from initial diagnosis, through investigations, treatments and also palliative care. The Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meets weekly and includes the cancer nurses & respiratory consultants working closely with a dedicated Oncologist, Thoracic Surgeon and the Palliative Care team.

Lung Function Testing & Sleep Diagnostics

The team of Respiratory Clinical Physiologists operates two advanced lung function laboratories at DCH and a satellite laboratory offering routine tests at Blandford Community Hospital.
As well as performing the basic range of lung function tests, many other advanced procedures are available such as whole body plethysmography, methacholine challenge tests, skin allergy prick tests, cardio-pulmonary exercise testing, shunt fraction estimation, long-term & ambulatory oxygen assessments and hypoxic challenge tests (also known inappropriately as 'Fitness-To-Fly' tests).
The physiologists also perform a range of sleep investigations (from basic overnight pulse oximetry through to different versions of multi-channel polysomnography), the sleep recorders are usually issued for the patient to take home and return the following day.

For information on some of the tests performed see 'Breathing and lung function tests' on the British Lung Foundation website.

Staff Members

Physicians

Dr Gerrard Phillips – Consultant Physician
Dr William McConnell – Consultant Physician
Dr Marianne Docherty – Consultant Physician
Dr Jenny Graves – Consultant Physician
*The medical team is supplemented by Specialist Registrars from the regional training rotation – this is their final stage of training before becoming a consultant.

Specialist Nurses

Sue Reed – DAIRS Nurse Specialist (Lead)
Kaz O'Gorman  – DAIRS Nurse Specialist
Angeline Downton – DAIRS Nurse Specialist

Alex Hillcox-Smith – Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist
Anita Burnham – Macmillan Associate Lung Nurse Specialist

Natalie Harper – Respiratory Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Nick Nadaf – Respiratory Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Physiologists

Keith Butterfield – Senior Chief Clinical Physiologist / Department Manager
Chris Jones – Chief Clinical Physiologist
Naomi Johnson - Apprentice Clinical Physiologist

Physiotherapists

Georgie Lee – Team Lead Respiratory Physiotherapist
Claire Peak – Pulmonary Rehabilitation Lead Physiotherapist​

Secretarial/Administrative Staff

Jessica Philipps – Medical Secretary (Admin Team Leader)
Samantha Wade – Medical Secretary
Sally Daisley​ – Medical Support Secretary
Teri Addison – DAIRS Administrator
Lucy Goode – Admin Assistant (Lung Function & Sleep)

Direct Line:
01305 255420 (Lung Function & Sleep Appointments)
01305 255259 (All other enquiries)