East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust provides respiratory services at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Canterbury and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, with outreach clinics at Dover, Folkestone, Herne Bay and Deal.
The respiratory department consists of eight consultant respiratory physicians, a respiratory nurse consultant and a team of practitioners supporting inpatient admissions. There is also a lead nurse supporting home (domiciliary) ventilation. EKHUFT Respiratory team also work very closely with the Community Respiratory Team employed by Kent Community Health Foundation Trust.
Respiratory Medicine is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and continuing care of patients with a considerable range of lung diseases. They include asthma, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis / emphysema (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, asbestos related conditions including mesothelioma, tuberculosis, sleep disordered breathing, pneumonia and lung cancer.
In addition, most respiratory physicians have a major commitment to the care of patients admitted as medical emergencies and provide ongoing ward based care for these patients. They are supported by the inpatient respiratory practitioner team who provide support and care for those patients admitted with COPD and other respiratory disorders as well as advising on issues such as home oxygen therapy etc.
Patients with lung diseases may undergo a number of investigations, which include x-rays, CT scans, bronchoscopy (to look into the lungs with a camera), lung function testing (to assess breathing capacity) and overnight studies of breathing during sleep. Information regarding these tests is available on request from the Consultant secretaries.
Most treatments for patients with lung diseases can be undertaken locally. However, thoracic (chest) surgery can only be performed at Guy’s Hospital, London. For these patients, east Kent is well served by a visiting thoracic surgeons (Miss Juliette King and Mr John Pilling) who assesses patients both before and after surgery. Dr Benjamin Schreiber from Royal Free Hospital London also visits Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital once every 3 months to review patients with pulmonary hypertension as shared care with Dr Malamis.