Young respiratory patients benefit from new service

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

An initiative by the Mater Children’s Hospital, which began in January 2008, is proving effective in reducing hospital admissions for young patients suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Bronchiectasis.

The initiative provides an intensive outpatient physiotherapy service for CF and bronchiectatic patients who have been identified as high-risk, a classification which is based in part on the patient’s previous rate of admission to hospital for treatment.

Under the program, the most high risk patients began attending intensive outpatient physiotherapy sessions at the Mater Children’s Hospital once and sometimes twice a week.

For the rest of the CF and bronchiectatic population, the program intervened with outpatient physiotherapy only when hospital admission appeared likely or upon discharge from a hospital admission to prevent re-admission.

The results of the program have excited the hospital’s physiotherapy and respiratory teams, who were behind its development.

Physiotherapy Unit Manager, Paediatrics Matthew Tallis said in general terms admissions in the high risk CF group have halved.

We achieved 21 admissions overall among the highest risk CF patients in 2008 in comparison with admissions in 2007, which was 48. In addition to this we were able to avoid an additional 57 admissions among the remaining CF, bronchiectatic and general respiratory patient population by implementing an intensive outpatient physiotherapy program.

It gives us conclusive evidence that this mode of care delivery can make a big difference for young patients whom hospital admissions are a regular part of life. Their time spent in hospital is reduced and their quality of life is improved.

Matthew Tallis,
Physiotherapy Unit Manager, Paediatrics

The average hospital stay for a CF patient is 14 days.

The program, which was run as a pilot in 2008, has now secured funding to continue until mid-2009, and Mr Tallis said he was hopeful it would become a permanent service by the end of the year.

The hospital’s respiratory team was very supportive of getting the pilot off the ground and we have now proved it can make a significant difference. We hope it is here to stay.

Filed under: Children's

To ensure we continue our commitment to meet the health care needs of the community, Mater has developed business strategies which address the issues of financial, social and environmental sustainability.

This website has been developed in accord with these strategies, and is the accompaniment to a summary document printed on recycled paper.