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Interstitial Lung Disease

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) refers to a group of not uncommon respiratory conditions, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), sarcoidosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, ILD associated with rheumatologic conditions, as well as a wide range of less common conditions.

The incidence of IPF is estimated at 12 cases per 100,000 per year, and its prognosis is similar to that of many cancers. Accurate diagnosis is essential for optimal management and many patients require close monitoring and follow up by a respiratory physician with a special interest in ILD and a specialist ILD nurse. For best practice, The British Thoracic Society advocates a multidisciplinary approach.

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital has been running a weekly specialist clinic dedicated to patients with ILD since 2004. LHCH also houses the Regional Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, where many patients undergo the thoracoscopic lung biopsies, sometimes required for accurate diagnosis.

The clinic is led by a Consultant and is supported by a specialist ILD nurse. There is a weekly multidisciplinary meeting, where complex cases are discussed, attended by two respiratory radiologists, a thoracic surgeon, a thoracic pathologist and other specialists. We also have close links with the Lung Transplantation Unit at University Hospital South Manchester, Wythenshawe.

The service is supported by a state of the art lung function laboratory. There is access to the onsite pulmonary rehabilitation programme to help patients cope with their symptoms, the oxygen assessment service, to support those who require home oxygen treatment and also access to occupational therapy and palliative care teams as required.

The clinic provides training in ILD for the specialist registrars in respiratory medicine. In addition, LHCH has a well established research and development infrastructure with an excellent track record in innovative research.

Interstitial Lung Disease Nurse Specialist

  • Provides support and education to patients and their families attending the Interstitial Lung Disease clinic run by Dr Hilal.
  • Runs a dedicated Nurse Led ILD clinic for assessment and medication titration/ review.
  • Provides a telephone advice line 0151 600 1172 ( Mon – Thurs 9-5pm and Friday 9-12.00, excluding bank holidays)
  • Provides assessment and referral to the wider multi -disciplinary teams.
  • Supports patients referred for lung transplant consideration.
  • Provides home visit service.

Respiratory Nurse Specialist

  • Provides support to respiratory patients and families either during their In-patient stay or when they attend their out-patient appointment
  • Provides a telephone advice line 0151 600 1381(Mon-Friday 9-5, excluding Bank holidays)
  • Provides education for a variety of lung diseases such as asthma, COPD and bronchiectasis.
  • Offers Nurse led clinics for starting patients on new treatments and/or review of current therapies such as
    • Asthma treatments and review of symptoms tailored to individual patient needs
    • Nebuliser trials for bronchodilator or antibiotic therapy.
  • Arranging home intravenous antibiotic therapy for patients with bronchiectasis to either prevent admission to hospital or provide early supported discharge