On Thursday 15th September, the launch of WORLD LUNG DAY (September 25th ) took place in the Dáil and also at Buswell’s Hotel in Dublin. This event was organised by the Lung Health Alliance : this includes many working and patient groups e.g. Irish Thoracic Society, Irish Sleep Society, Alpha 1 Foundation, Irish Lung Fibrosis network, physiologists, nurses, physio’s etc).
Ann Marie O Connell (chair of the Respiratory Executive and President of the IICMP) and Orla Wynne (Vice Chair of Respiratory Executive), were invited by ITS to attend and show case and promote our work. IICMS were there to highlight the need to make more training places available in Ireland for all Physiology disciplines).
Due to current changes in infection control practices etc, we did not offer spirometry to TD’s on the day.
The team met Stan Miller the new National Clinical lLead for Respiratory (he is a respiratory consultant in the Mater Hospital). Stan was well aware of the issues facing respiratory labs currently with staffng and addtioanl infectional control and PPE. Stan raised the KPI’s for the hub and how the numbers he feels are unrealistic. He states his view is per test (so a full PFT with reversibility would be 4 tests). He was in agreeance that no allowance seems to be made for annual leave, maternity leave, sick leave, study leave or parental leave. He is concerned that no one has stated what will happen if the hubs don’t met each these KPI’s.
He has requested to meet with Ann Marie, and Angela Ryan (the NCP lead) to iron this out. This is a very positive step Respiratory physiologists.
The ANAIL Chair Aoife Folliard was in attendance, and raised the question, regarding the spirometry course. She is receiving emails from her members. We discussed at length that ERS, has it on hold, they were the awarding body, about the insurance not been in place, and the need to re write the whole program with the new infection control protocols etc. After speaking to the team, she understood why the course is on hold. she has requested that : ITS, ANAIL and IICMP (respiratory faulty) , pen a joint stating stating this , so once queries do come in, it can be sent out. Again this also a positive step, as she said emails (and words) can seem obstructive, whereas the reality is the risks are too high.
Also raised with them was early diagnosis, can delay patients needing costly medications, and also O2 therapy-and we had a figure from Air Liquid : that at a unit rate of 0.19c per KW, it costs a patients approx. €66 per month to run the O2, whereas in reality most households who haven’t switched provider (a lot of our elderly population) their unit rate could be 0.55c kW, and this actually is costing €191 to the pateint. So the cost of living crisis and the elderly was the eye opening moment for the TD’s from rural Ireland.
BUT by far the most important point of contact was with Roisin Shorthall. Roisin, stayed over and hour, and to spoke to Ann Maire directly, Roisin was due to have a Dail questions session yesterday evening regarding CORU, she asked were we COUR register. This was a fantastic opportunity, where Ann Marie, explained how IICMS previously have written to the Minister for Health to get accepted onto the CORU list for potential registration etc.
Rosin, asked for an email to be send to herself stating this and a copy of the letters so she could raise in the Dail. Ann Marie, had less than 2 hours to compose the email, get a copy of the letters etc, but she did. So lets watch this space.
Overall this was a very positive event. We were well received. There will be pictures of the event popping up across papers locally and nationally.