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You are here: Home \ Trust \ Press releases \ Jan - June 2011 \ Minister of State for Health Simon Burns MP visits the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital


Minister of State for Health Simon Burns MP visits the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital


Minister of State for Health Simon Burns MP visited the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital today (Monday 23 May) to find out firsthand from specialist NHS staff about the patient benefits of the only service of its kind in the South West.

Hundreds of RD&E patients in Devon with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) have received advice, reassurance and training from specialist respiratory nurses so that they can self manage their condition and oxygen treatment. COPD, which includes respiratory conditions like chronic bronchitis and emphysema, leads to damaged airways in the lungs, causing them to become narrower and making it harder for air to get in and out of the lungs. The word 'chronic' means that the problem is long-term and the most common cause of COPD is smoking, though some patients have been exposed to occupational factors like coal dust, or inherited a condition. 


Simon Burns MP with Em Wilkinson-Brice

Mr Burns is pictured with RD&E Director of Nursing & Patient Care

Em Wilkinson-Brice at the listening exercise event



Respiratory nurse specialist Chervonne Chamberlain said: “By understanding their condition and how best to manage it, our patients regain lost confidence and independence. Our patients, their GPs and nurse practitioners in the community know they can get in touch with us with any concerns and with early intervention and support we often can avoid an unnecessary emergency hospital admission.” During his visit the Minister met a COPD patient, who was having their oxygen treatment reviewed by Chervonne in a nurse-led clinic.

The Minister also met about 30 frontline NHS staff including clinicians, nurses, physiotherapists and scientists, to hear their views as part of the NHS Listening Exercise about choice, competition, public accountability, patient involvement, clinical leadership and training.

Health Minister Simon Burns said:  “I'd like to thank the patients and staff who took the time today to share their views with me about our modernisation proposals. It is evident that having specialist clinical assessment, advice and treatment like those available at the RD&E, have an important and positive impact, not just on health outcomes but quality of life too. It is so important that patients and staff have the opportunity to voice their opinions and help us to shape and safeguard the NHS for the future.”

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