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Bedfordshire Integrated COPD Service

The Bedfordshire Integrated COPD Service has the following aims:

  • To provide a high standard of specialised care for those with COPD
  • To provide a greater range of COPD services closer to patients’ homes
  • To improve patient access to COPD services
  • To improve working with GPs and other community services
  • To improve the lives of patients with COPD

The Integrated COPD Service provides consultant, respiratory nurse, respiratory physiotherapy and pulmonary rehabilitation clinics in the community and closer to patients’ homes, ensuring greater ease of access to services, whilst maintaining the highest standards.

The Bedfordshire Integrated COPD Service is an innovative and ground-breaking services which involves two general hospitals working together to provide one unified service for the patients of Bedfordshire.

The service is provided by The Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, on behalf of NHS Bedfordshire.

Bedford Hospital NHS Trust LDH

NHS Bedfordshire

Quick links


COPD stands for:

Chronic = Long standing

Obstructive = Blockage or narrowing

Pulmonary = Affecting the lungs

Disease = Illness

COPD is an umbrella term that includes: Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis and Chronic Asthma.

Causes of COPD

The main cause of COPD is smoking. There are other factors that may contribute to COPD such as working environment, fumes and pollution.

Symptoms of COPD

The following are typical symptoms of COPD:

  • Cough (dry or productive)
  • Sputum/phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheeze
  • Tight chest
  • Reduced exercise tolerance (i.e. ability to perform activities)


Diagnosis of COPD

COPD can be diagnosed with a breathing test called spirometry, which measures your lung functions.

This may have been done at your GP surgery or at the hospital.

Your doctor may also request other tests such as a chest x-ray or CT chest scan to aid with the diagnosis.

Treatment of COPD

Your treatment may include the following:

  • Stop smoking advice
  • Medications (inhalers and/or tablets)
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Education
  • Oxygen therapy

More information about COPD (Link to exernal website)

The Integrated COPD Service

The Integrated COPD team offers the following services for patients with COPD:


The Acute Respiratory Assessment Service (ARAS) is a service for patients who have known COPD. It can be accessed via GPs, community matrons and members of the integrated COPD team .

Patients will be assessed by a respiratory nurse specialist and seen by a chest physician/specialist registrar prior to a decision about treatment.

The options will include a decision to either discharge the patient home or discharge home on early supported discharge, or to admit the patient as appropriate.


Early Supported Discharge is a ‘hospital at home’ scheme run by the integrated COPD team to continue a patient’s acute care in their own home. Appropriate patients will be identified by the respiratory consultants and/or respiratory nurse specialists during daily ward rounds in the hospital.

The patient will be visited at home by a member of the ICOPD team and will remain under the hospital consultant until deemed suitable for discharge back into the community.






Intervention clinics

Intervention clinics are designed for those patients who have had a deterioration in their condition, but do not require hospital admission (e.g. specialist assessment/intervention).

These clinics are run by a respiratory nurse specialist and/or a respiratory physiotherapist following referral by a relevant healthcare professional. They will be supported by a chest consultant as necessary.

Following referral, the ICOPD team will be responsible for ensuring the patient is seen within the most appropriate setting (community or secondary care by the consultant) following agreed criteria.

The clinics are held at the following locations:

Priory Medical Centre

48 The Glebe



MK41 6GA

Tel: 01234 262040

Shefford Health Centre
Robert Lucas Drive

Hitchin Road


SG17 5FS

Tel: 01462 648440

Meiklejohn Pharmacy

141 Harrowden Road


MK42 0RU

Tel: 01234 353360


Physiotherapy clinics

The specialist respiratory physiotherapists will be running one-to-one clinics and can help with:

· Breathlessness management

· Chest clearance techniques

· Exercise advice

Oxygen clinics

All new patients or patients already on home oxygen therapy will be assessed and reviewed by a respiratory nurse either in their own surroundings or in an oxygen clinic at specified intervals.

These new appointments and reviews will ensure patients are on the appropriate oxygen prescription, have a good understanding of their oxygen usage and safety, and address any potential problems or complications.

They will have their oxygen levels monitored at each visit and a capillary blood gas will be carried out as and when appropriate.

How to be referred


You can be referred to the following parts of the service by your GP or other healthcare professionals:

  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Intervention clinic
  • Acute Respiratory Assessment Service (ARAS)
  • Respiratory physiotherapy
  • Home oxygen service clinic

The following clinics will predominantly be used for follow up from the hospital:

  • Respiratory nurse clinics
  • Respiratory consultant clinics

Early Supported Discharge can only be accessed if you are admitted into hospital with your breathing and the consultant/ respiratory nurses feel that you are appropriate for Early Supported Discharge.

Service access:

The Bedfordshire Integrated COPD Service operates Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm.

There are dedicated telephone numbers for the service:

  • RIST (Respiratory Information and Support Team) for patient or general advice: 01234 795859
  • Email address: ICOPD@bedfordhospital.nhs.uk




Clinic locations

At present the integrated COPD team will use the following GP surgeries to run clinics from:

North Bedfordshire:


48 The Glebe
MK41 6GA
Iveldale Drive
SG17 5AU
Tel: 01462 814899

South Bedfordshire:


Houghton Regis Medical Centre


Salisbury House Surgery

N.B. You will not need to be registered with these GP practices to be seen by the Integrated COPD Team.


Pulmonary Rehabilitation


Do you have a chronic lung condition?

Do you get breathless whilst walking or climbing stairs?

If the answer to the above questions in YES, then Pulmonary Rehabilitation may be just the thing you need!

Breathlessness can be a worrying experience for many people with chronic lung disease. It can mean that you stop doing certain activities in order to avoid being breathless.

Pulmonary RehabIf your activity levels drop, then your physical fitness declines, meaning that even the smallest task will make you breathless.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is designed to stop this cycle of decline, by helping improve your physical fitness whilst also improving your control of your breathing. By doing this, you can improve your activity levels which will improve your quality of life.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is an evidence-based multidisciplinary exercise and education programme for people with chronic lung disease and it is highly recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

NICE state that Pulmonary Rehabilitation should be offered to all patients who consider themselves functionally disabled by their breathing condition.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is proven to improve your walking distance, improve your quality of life, reduce your frequency of chest infections and reduce admissions to hospital.

For more information about Pulmonary Rehabilitation, visit the British Lung Foundation website (see link)





Pulmonary Rehabilitation programmes

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation programmes are run by the specialist respiratory physiotherapists and clinical respiratory nurse specialists as part of the ICOPD team.


Once you have been referred, you will be given an assessment appointment with either one of our specialist physiotherapists or respiratory nurses.

During this appointment we will discuss Pulmonary Rehabilitation in greater depth and assess your suitability for the program. You will then be given a start date/venue to commence Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a seven week course, with two sessions per week (total of 14 sessions). Each session lasts two hours (one hour of exercise, one hour of education).

The exercises are individually tailored to you, so that everyone can participate and gain the benefits.



North Bedfordshire

Jubilee Park
Moulton Avenue
MK42 0HL

Sessions: Tuesday 10.15am to 12.30pm (all year)

Friday 10.15am to 12.30pm

Medusa Way (off Engayne Avenue)
SG19 1BN

Sessions: Monday 10.15am to 12.30pm (commencing April 2012)

Thursday 10.15am to 12.30pm

Dunstable Road
MK45 1HP

Sessions: Monday 10.15am to 12.30pm (commencing June 2012)

Thursday 10.15am to 12.30pm


South Bedfordshire:


St Mary’s Wing, Luton and Dunstable Hospital

Clinics: Mondays 2pm to 4pm and Wednesday 2pm to 4pm

Peter Newton Pavilionon Skimpot Road, Dunstable

Clinics: Mondays 10am to 12pm and Wednesdays 10am to 12pm


Stanbridge & Tilsworth Community Hall

Clinics: Tuesdays 2pm to 4pm and Fridays 2pm to 4pm

Psychological Support for Respiratory Difficulties in Bedfordshire

We are here to help and support people to manage the symptoms of their respiratory illness and gain a better quality of life.

The following leaflet (click ling below) explains the psychological support available to you within the Respiratory Medicine Services at Bedford and Luton & Dunstable Hospitals.

Who we are

We are set up as part of the integrated COPD service and the Respiratory Medicine clinics of the Luton & Dunstable and Bedford Hospitals. We have a counselling psychologist who offers individual and group interventions as well as support to other professionals.

How can I benefit from meeting with a psychologist?

Each person with respiratory problems will have a different set of challenges, although many of the issues may be similar.

You may develop negative feelings such as stress, worry, anxiety and/or low mood as well as unhelpful thoughts. This in turn may lead to poor health management and an exacerbation of respiratory conditions.

During therapeutic sessions we can talk about your own experience in a non-judgemental space. We can explore how your physical health impacts upon your life and then look at how you would like your life to improve alongside your respiratory condition.

Psychological therapy can help you identify what changes are achievable and meaningful to you. Therapy may then help you to develop new skills and/or expand your existing skills to help you work towards your desired changes.

For further details, download the below leaflet.

Respiratory Psychology Leaflet updated

Meet the team













Useful Links

British Lung Foundation: http://www.lunguk.org/



Breathe Easy

Luton and District: http://www.breatheeasy-luton.btck.co.uk/



The Bedford group meets at Priory Methodist Church, Newnham Avenue, Bedford on the first Wednesday of each month from 2pm to 4pm. For more information contact John on 01234 855611


Stop Smoking Services http://www.smokefree.nhs.uk/

For non judgemental advice and support contact the local Stop Smoking Specialist Advisor on

0800 013 0553