Patient Experience Of Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers Transformed at Nottingham University Hospital

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by Charles Moore |

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Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust in the U.K. has announced a new state of the art facility utilizing technology from enterprise partners, including Cisco. The new £6.6 million East Midlands Cystic Fibrosis Adult CF Centre campus at Nottingham University Hospital’s (NUH) NHS Trust City Hospital is designed to improve experiences of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients both during hospital stays and recovery at home. Dr. Jane Dewar is the Lead Consultant and Service Director.


CF affects over 8,500 people in the UK, and more than two million people in the country carry the faulty gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis — or about 1 in 25 of the general population.

Cystic Fibrosis affects the body’s internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, clogging them with thick, sticky mucus that makes it difficult to breathe and digest food. Roughly half the CF population can expect to live over 38 years, although improvements in treatments mean a baby born today with CF can expect to live even longer.

georgejenkinsOBEGeorge Jenkins, OBE, Chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust Trustees, notes in a NUH release that: “People with Cystic Fibrosis regularly spend weeks at a time in hospital meaning their units become a second home. The personalized service offered by this unit, such as dedicated chefs and gym pods in comfortable surroundings, will support people’s wellbeing and make visits all the more relaxed, and provide the care that people need and deserve.”

Utilizing Cisco video technology, individual patient rooms at the centre are equipped with technology that not only enables high-quality video calls with family and friends, but also virtual participation in group classes. Group participation wasn’t previously possible due to to the nature of the condition and the need for separation between patients. However, introduction of virtual sessions will enable patients to learn to manage the unique requirements of their condition, including hyper-metabolism, that demands a diet in excess of 5,000 calories a day, and the need for very specific physiotherapy.

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“This remarkable facility is literally transforming the way in which we are caring for Cystic Fibrosis patients here in Nottingham,” explains Dr. Dewar. “This occasion is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you’ to the many people who have made our dream of having such a first class facility become a reality, including patients, major charitable donors and of course our staff.”

“This is a fantastic and impactful example of technology enriching people’s lives,” says Terry Espiner, Client Director, Healthcare, Cisco UK & Ireland. “What we are seeing here is the value of connectivity beyond just the technological, but between people. In this instance, connectivity and the ambition of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust are transforming the lives of people with Cystic Fibrosis. I whole-heartedly applaud the efforts of those involved and am extremely proud to be supporting them in their efforts.”

Lord Lieutenant tours Nottingham’s New Cystic Fibrosis Centre

pearceJohnSir John Peace, Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, recently toured the new Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre at the NU Trust’s City Hospital to see how the new unit will set a new high standard for CF treatment and patient care, meeting with patients, staff and major charitable donors.

The Lord Lieutenant visited the centre’s gym pods, met the head chef, spoke to some social workers and saw the centre’s new video conferencing facilities in action before meeting patients in their ‘home in hospital’ rooms.

“It is so important that we recognize this wonderful new facility,” Sir John observes. “This is a centre that everyone can be proud of. This is a special moment for everyone involved in this project — and mostly for patients who will benefit from this centre.”

The centre has state-of-the-art technology that includes video conferencing facilities between patient rooms, allowing patients to communicate with each another and their friends and family at home, which helps reduce feelings of isolation and enhance a sense of community. Video conferencing allows physiotherapists to hold exercise classes online in which inpatients can participate in their own rooms. Nottingham is the first CF Centre in Europe to implement such technology.

Aside from advanced IT and telecommunications, the Centre has a number of unique features which set it apart from other CF facilities around the country, including:

  • The bedrooms — as patients may have to spend long periods of time in their rooms, the rooms are designed to provide a feeling of ‘apartment living” with soft furnishings and a lounge area with a sofa and chairs.
  • Gym pods  — Exercise is absolutely key for CF patients, helping to improve lung function and reduce the chance of contracting fatal chest infections. A state-of-the-art gym has been developed, containing glassed-in pods, giving patients the opportunity to see each other and benefit from exercising as a group, while being protected from cross-infection. The gym pods are equipped with Cisco’s DX80 range, providing users with a touchscreen enabled video experience that allows them to communicate in a safe and friendly environment.
  • Dedicated chefs — CF patients need to consume double the number of calories as the average person in order to maintain a healthy weight and digestive system. This can be particularly difficult for adolescents who are still physically developing. A home-like kitchen area where young families cook together will help. The centre’s chefs are trained to cook meals containing the calories necessary as well as to make the task of eating enjoyable, rather than an ordeal of simply consuming masses of calories. The Food Education room allows chefs to work with patients and teach them how to make nutritional meals for themselves, in their own homes.
  • Holistic Zone — This will be a place away from the clinical environment where patients will access holistic therapies (such as art) to take their minds off their circumstances, provide distraction and give them a different focus and help foster a positive outlook.
  • Outdoor gym — Attractive gardens and outdoor exercise space to encourage patients to exercise regularly and maintain health will also be an area to relax and spend time with family and friends.

shutterstock_183166157The Centre, which was jointly funded by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) and Nottingham Hospitals Charity, has been designed to care for more than 250 patients from across Nottinghamshire and surrounding counties — almost doubling the number of patients that could be cared for previously.

Nottingham University Hospital

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the biggest and busiest acute care hospitals in England, employing 13,500 staff. The hospital provides care to over 2.5million residents of Nottingham and surrounding communities and specialist services to a further 3-4 million people from neighbouring counties.

As a teaching trust, the hospital has a strong relationship with the University of Nottingham and other universities across the East Midlands, including Loughborough University.

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Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) and Nottingham Hospitals Charity

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Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) and Nottingham Hospitals Charity
Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire