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