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Royal Derby’s respiratory team leading fight against pneumonia

Published 14/12/2017

A specialist respiratory infections team, based at the Royal Derby Hospital, is leading the fight against pneumonia this winter. 

Derby Teaching Hospital’s Respiratory Consultant Dr Tom Bewick has set up a specialist team to quickly diagnose pneumonia, identify the strain and treat it effectively with the correct antibiotic.

The hospital’s Respiratory Infections Team is reducing hospital stays for the condition, according to a new study presented to the British Thoracic Society.

Data shows the team has improved antibiotic stewardship and reduced the length of stay by two days for patients admitted to hospital with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). 

Pneumonia kills 29,000 people a year in the UK and the condition is the sixth biggest cause of death in UK. Experts at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were surprised at the lack of specialist teams around the UK.  

Despite evidence that targeted narrow spectrum antibiotics are safe, it is still routine practice to use broad spectrum antibiotics for patients with CAP, which leads to resistance to antibiotics.

Dr Tom Bewick said: “This new team has helped deliver better care for our patients by reducing the amount of time spent in hospital, reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and improving diagnostic accuracy. This is a totally new service which improves care, is cost-effective and helps with the fight against antibiotic resistance.  We hope other NHS trusts will pick it up and introduce similar versions.  As we continue to face severe pressures on finding beds during winter, this is one way to free up NHS resources for those in most need.”

Derby Teaching Hospitals have now received a grant from NHS England to expand this service, so the team now boasts three nurses for cover 365 days a year, offers follow-up clinics, and supports education and good practice across the Trust.

Last Modified 14/12/2017