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An audit of admissions due to respiratory disease to our hospital cited insufficient home support as the precipitating reason for 30% of cases. A hospital based respiratory team consisting of a specialist nurse, physiotherapist and two nurses was established to see if these admissions could be reduced by providing support in the home. Referrals were taken from general practitioners and hospital firms. 130 referrals deemed suitable for home based care by stringent criteria were made between 1.12.97 and 31.5.98, 70 from G.P.'s and 60 from the hospital. Only 7/70 of the G.P. referrals had to be admitted. 12/60 hospital referred patients had to be readmitted for their respiratory disease. The number of patients kept out of hospital represented 10% of the all acute admissions during the study period. By 31.5.98, 49 patients were still being seen at home, 63 had been discharged and 4 were in hospital. 14 patients had died primarily due to their underlying lung disorder.


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