Halton residents with respiratory conditions offered tips to stay out of hospital

Runcorn and Widnes World: Dr Cliff Richards, chairman of Halton CCG Dr Cliff Richards, chairman of Halton CCG

HALTON residents who suffer serious breathing problems are being urged to stay safe this winter as hospital admissions tend to soar.

People who have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are reminded by health chiefs to keep a close check on their conditions.

Brookvale GP Dr Cliff Richards, chairman of NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “While many of us may feel unwell for a day or two with a mild cold, it's often a different story for people with respiratory illnesses and existing chronic respiratory conditions.

“Asthma sufferers are particularly vulnerable as the cold weather and viral infections such as the flu can lead to deterioration, with patients needing more care and support than usual.

"With the cold weather now hitting us hard, I would urge parents and carers who look after sufferers of such conditions to be aware of the early warning signs which include breathing difficulties.”

June Roberts, consultant respiratory nurse in the north west, said that COPD is the second leading cause for hospital admissions in the North, but that a few easy steps could alleviate the issue.

"Many people would not need to be admitted to hospital if they took their treatment regularly as prescribed. It's important they have been prescribed a self-management plan and if you don't have one, you need to talk to your GP or practice nurses for more information. It's about helping yourself and supporting those who need help this winter.

"I've worked as a specialist on respiratory conditions for years and I've seen thousands of patients who with help and support have become expert at managing their own conditions.

"I know that most respiratory crises can be dealt with at home or in the community. Patients with COPD and asthma should all have self management and action plans in place. My message to patients and public is simple: Look after yourself this winter."

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