£6m in­take

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Ben Ra­m­age

A ma­jor Euro­pean fund­ing boost will help com­bat an “ex­tremely preva­lent” lung con­di­tion in the re­gion.

More than £6 mil­lion has been al­lo­cated via the Euro­pean Union to in­ves­ti­gate the causes, treat­ment and pre­ven­tion of Chronic Ob­struc­tive Pul­monart Dis­ease (COPD).

Phyl­lis Mur­phie, res­pi­ra­tory nurse con­sul­tant for NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway, said: “We are de­lighted to be in­volved in this new pro­gramme of re­search.

“Here in Dum­fries and Gal­loway, the lev­els of COPD are higher than av­er­age and this re­search project may pro­vide some en­cour­age­ment and re­as­sur­ance to our pa­tients that we are com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing the best pos­si­ble care.”

The col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­gramme will see the health board, in­clud­ing res­pi­ra­tory con­sul­tant Stu­art Lit­tle, work along­side the Univer­sity of the West of Scot­land, the Dun­dalk In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and Queen’s Univer­sity in Belfast.

John Lock­hart, di­rec­tor of the West of Scot­land’s In­sti­tute of Bio­med­i­cal and En­vi­ron­men­tal Health Re­search (IBEHR), hopes the fund­ing will rev­o­lu­tionise treat­ment in the re­gion.

He said: “This ex­cit­ing new pro­gramme will pro­vide in­sights into lung dis­ease in south-west Scot­land, help­ing iden­tify bet­ter treat­ment and pos­si­ble pre­ven­tions, and also en­hance re­gional pub­lic aware­ness.

“It is in­creas­ingly be­ing recog­nised that lung health needs to be made a na­tional pri­or­ity as poor pub­lic aware­ness has re­sulted in an un­der-pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of this dis­ease.”

COPD is an in­cur­able res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tion which causes air­flow re­duc­tion, breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and ir­re­versible lung dam­age. De­scrib­ing a num­ber of con­di­tions, in­clud­ing em­phy­sema and chronic bron­chi­tis, it sig­nif­i­cantly im­pairs qual­ity of life and has a high cost to health ser­vices and the wider econ­omy.

De­lighted NHS staff John Lock­hart, Phyl­lis Mur­phie and Stu­art Lit­tle

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