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Position statement on integrated respiratory care published by BTS and PCRS

The importance of integrated respiratory healthcare models that put patients at their centre has been outlined in a new joint position statement from the British Thoracic Society (BTS) and the Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS).

Aimed at all respiratory healthcare professionals across primary and secondary care, the position statement aims to improve health outcomes, tackle complex challenges and inequalities in the provision of healthcare, and prevent avoidable hospital admissions.

It highlights the common priorities shared by the BTS and PCRS and sets out a series of common goals to support the coordination of the multi-professional team and deliver high-quality, accessible care that considers physical and mental health, housing and social care.

The common goals focus on maintaining pathways of care that help to avoid unnecessary admission to hospital, advocating a whole-person approach to planning and delivering respiratory care, supporting improved outcomes and addressing health inequalities, and facilitating workforce recruitment, retention and capacity models.

These goals sit alongside each organisation’s own range of existing initiatives to support the provision of integrated care, they said.

The position statement also includes a five-part high level model for use by respiratory teams, detailing practical steps to help ensure the success of integrated respiratory healthcare: build relationships; identify funds; establish clear, identified goals; build the right team; and actively deliver the pathway.

Dr Paul Walker, chair of the BTS, said: ‘Integration of respiratory care is vital to optimally deliver health and social care in a system that is often disjointed and challenging for patients and carers to navigate. Not only is integrated respiratory care more efficient and productive it encourages sharing of skills, knowledge and insight.

‘This position statement encourages respiratory professionals and teams, across the healthcare landscape, to work better together to improve outcomes for patients.’

Daryl Freeman, chair of the PCRS’ Service Development Committee, associate clinical director primary care and GP in older people’s medicine in Norfolk, said: ‘It’s been an inspiration to be part of the BTS/PCRS joint working group delivering this statement.

‘I know that it will inspire clinicians, trusts and integrated care boards to design and deliver integrated care in their own regions and enable new implementers; giving them access to a document to which they can not only refer, but the support and experience of clinicians from BTS and PCRS who are either actively working in or developing integrated services.’

The BTS and PCRS represent and support all respiratory healthcare professionals working in the NHS across the UK.

The organisations hope that their collaboration on the position statement will help to ensure that tools, resources and education materials are shared widely across all members of the multi-professional respiratory team to the benefit of patients.

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