Northamptonshire Carers are pleased to announce that our Breathing Space Project won the Pathway Innovation of the Year at the National Primary Care Awards. The award was presented at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on Wednesday 18th October 2017.

“We are each but a mere leaf on a huge tree, each with our own beauty but as we grow the earth really does move

Giles Brandreth, who awarded our trophy

The service for those living with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and their carers. Groups meet fortnightly in Daventry and Northampton but alongside our more traditional support group approach, we work alongside health professionals who offer expert advice on the condition, how to manage it and how to look after your wellbeing.

We are very proud of the team for the work they do and what this service has achieved. It’s great for Innovation in Northamptonshire to be recognised in this way and this type of community asset based approach has great potential for other Health conditions in the future.

Services that effectively support people and their carers and are easily accessible for them are vital going forward.

Key to its success is the partnership working and co-production with patients and their carers

Mark Major, CEO, Northamptonshire Carers.

COPD affects over 12,000 people in Northamptonshire and we are hoping that this success will enable us to expand the service throughout the county and in to other long term health conditions. The project has been able to show a 39% reduction in take up of secondary health care services by our group members. This has potential cost savings for the NHS as well as improving the health and wellbeing of patients and their carers.

This success has been a huge team effort so we’d like to thank Pat Downer for coordinating the project. Also of Northamptonshire Carers are Sarah Drage and Linda Tiffney along with Peer Supporters Lynette Cromwell, Sally Fisk, Hayley Gyles and Steve Kimber. The Breathing Space project is co-produced with colleagues from the NHS and we would like to extend our thanks to them for their hard work and dedication: Jennifer Keech, Emma Ryan and Lynn Burgess from Northampton General Hospital’s RESTART team; Giles West from Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust; Tim O’Donovan from Nene Clinical Commissioning Group; Dr James Findlay, Clinical Pathway Lead, Nene Clinical Commissioning Group and Vicky Lord, Project Moderator from Coventry University. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the members and volunteers who have enabled this project to win this prestigious award.

The Breathing space Team at the ceremony (L-R): Lynette Cromwell, Sarah Drage, Emma Ryan, Steve Kimber, Pat Downer, Jennifer Keech, Sally Fisk, James Findlay, Hayley Gyles and Vicky Lord

For more information on the breathing space project, please click here.