Welcoming all respiratory professionals

Bethany is making our BLF Professionals programme bigger and better than ever.

Last year I was given the fantastic opportunity not just to manage the BLF Nurse programme, but to develop and expand it.

Over the last 7 years we've worked with a growing number of respiratory nurses who we have been proud to badge as BLF Nurses.

The first thing that became clear was that we needed to open the programme up to other respiratory professionals.

Welcoming everyone

In my previous role supporting our Breathe Easy support groups I worked with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, community matrons, pharmacists, practice nurses, GPs and, of course, specialist respiratory nurses. They are all doing amazing things to improve care locally, help our Breathe Easy groups and support vital campaigns.

We want to be able to recognise this work by welcoming them all to our programme so that they, and the people they support, can benefit from the support we offer. So we're changing the name.

BLF Nurses is becoming BLF Professionals, and from this month all health care professionals working with respiratory patients can be part of it.

Regional study days

We wanted to develop the support we offer to the respiratory professionals on our programme. We used to offer national study days for our nurses, but it’s become harder and harder for people to get there if they live and work in a different part of the country.

So this year we're organising a series of regional study days. We’ll keep the standard of speakers as high as usual, and because they're taking place up and down the country hopefully more of our BLF Professionals will be able to attend.

Study days allow us to discuss the latest developments in respiratory care and can be tailored to meet the needs of local teams. They also provide a great opportunity for professionals looking after people with lung conditions to get together and share ideas and best practice.

Learning from each other

We're also introducing work shadowing opportunities. We trialled this for our BLF Nurses in Northern Ireland this year and found it was really successful. We arranged for the respiratory nurses working in Northern Ireland to visit IPF, bronchiectasis and oxygen assessment services in other parts of the UK.

When Lindsay (one of our BLF Nurses in Northern Ireland) came back from shadowing the bronchiectasis service at the Royal Brompton Hospital, she said: “This is a great way to learn, as seeing people in their own working environment makes it more interesting and memorable. We had quality time lavished on us and our questions were answered fully.”

Because it worked so well, we'll be arranging more shadowing opportunities for all of our BLF Professionals next year. And, of course, our teams in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will still be there to help you find ways to develop and improve services locally.

Finally, I also think it's important that we make is as easy as possible for respiratory professionals to get involved, so we'll be making the way we keep in touch more straight-forward to give you more time to focus on the people you care for.

I’m really excited about the changes we’re making and I hope the health care professionals who work with us are too.

Find out more about the BLF Professionals network and apply to join the programme.


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6 November 2014