Go-ahead for new sleep clinic at Carlisle hospital
Last updated at 10:14, Tuesday, 05 February 2013
Approval has been given for a new sleep apnoea clinic in Carlisle.
Currently patients suffering with the condition in the north and west of the county, have to travel 100 miles to Barrow for treatment.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is when the body struggles to keep oxygen levels up at night and can be caused by obesity or the shape of the larynx.
A recent meeting of senior managers at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary, agreed to start offering care for the condition at the hospital.
Dr Peter Weaving, GP clinical director for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which covers the infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital, in Whitehaven, has been working closely with ear, nose and throat consultants.
“At the moment we have sleepy patients who fall asleep during the day-time, who are having to make a round trip to Barrow for the service,” Dr Weaving said. “Sleepy patients on a motorway is not a good idea. They need a local service.”
Dr Weaving, of Warwick Bridge, spoke to The Cumberland News as he took on his new role within the trust. He has stepped down from his position as NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s lead GP for Carlisle and the trust’s deputy clinical chair. He plans to spend two days with the trust and the remaining three at his Brampton surgery.
Dr Weaving believes it is the introduction of services such as the sleep apnoea clinic, which will help secure the finances of the trust, as it receives money for each operation or service it performs.
“I am very keen that the services here are so good that not only does everybody locally want to use them, but people come from outside the area too,” he added.
The GP clinical director position is a new one for the trust, and has been introduced by the acquiring trust – Northumbria Healthcare – following the success of a similar role within its trust.
“I’m a GP view, inside a hospital,” he said. “The reason I’m here is to try and make hospitals work better for patients, by having better links with the community services, like district nurses, community hospitals and GPs.”
Dr Weaving is addressing issues on both sides – between the hospital trust and GPs – and will also meet bosses at community hospitals and other services.
He is particularly keen to address issues relating to cancer statistics.
“I would hold a mirror up to GPs and say; ‘are you part of the delay in treatment?’,” he added.
Dr Weaving is looking at referrals by GPs to cancer services, and the percentage of those which are subsequently diagnosed with cancer.
He said that the lower the percentage the better, as that would show that GPs were referring any symptoms they were concerned about – and so increasing the chances of catching cancers early.
The GP clinical director role can also help alleviate common problems occurring either with GPs or with consultants.
“I see patients and refer people on patient pathways and I listen to my GP colleagues say that this bowel cancer pathway is so complicated they don’t understand it,” Dr Weaving said. “I can then say to consultants that this is an issue, and we can discuss how we can make the process faster and easier.”
Dr Weaving has worked with the developing Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Cumbria, the primary care trust, in commissioning for about six years, but is relishing the difference he believes he can make in his new role.
He said: “In my commissioning role [I felt] I was trying to tweak things at a distance, but now this is my organisation. It is refreshing to be at the sharp end.”
First published at 10:13, Tuesday, 05 February 2013
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
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