Acute Respiratory Assessment Service (ARAS)

The service is provided by Respiratory Nurse Specialists in partnership with hospital staff, community nursing teams, GPs and social services.

Description of the Service

The service is provided to patients who have a confirmed diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease experiencing an acute exacerbation (flare up) where patients have sustained worsening of their symptoms, including breathlessness, cough, increased sputum production and change in sputum colour. This service helps to support patients and their carers in their own home and can help prevent an admission to hospital.

Elements of the Service

The Countywide Community Respiratory Team provide a full initial respiratory assessment service at home for patients undertaking full physical and social assessment and provide follow-up to patients.  Patients are offered a full education package, short term interim care such as short term loan of nebulisers or temporary short burst oxygen if needed. Medication adjustments can be made, as required, and referral to appropriate integrated team on discharge from the service. 

Service Operating Times

 The Service is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

Waiting Times for the Service

All patients are seen within 24 hours of referral, unless received after 3pm on Friday when patients will be seen on the next working day. 

Referral Details

Written referrals sent by fax, and followed by a telephone call are accepted from GP Practices, Community Nursing and Allied Healthcare Teams and from hospitals.  Patients can self-refer by telephone if they have previously been seen by the service.  

Patient Support Groups

Details of Breathe Easy local support groups are available from your clinician.

Locations of Service and Contact Details

Home visits are provided and follow-up clinics are held in various locations throughout Lincolnshire.

Case Scenario - ARAS

Mr H, a 77 year old man, presented to his GP with a chest infection and known history of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, high blood pressure and heart failure. He had been unwell for two days and lived alone, but supported, in sheltered accommodation. He had no carer or family to help support him.

A clinical assessment determined that it was necessary for him to be admitted to hospital, however he refused and asked whether a nurse could come and see him at home. The GP referred Mr H to the respiratory service who visited this gentleman within 24 hours. He was unwell with a temperature and increased productive cough. His oxygen levels were lower than normal and he was using his inhalers, but needed a nebuliser for a few days to help get him over the worsening episode.

The team arranged for him to have emergency oxygen for a few days and visited him every day for the next 7 days. During the visits the team were able to monitor his condition closely and agree with the patient a plan of care, including consenting to a social assessment. He was referred to the Oxygen Nurse Specialist for a reassessment to assess whether he required oxygen longer term and was also referred to a Case Manager for ongoing support and management, with the option of being able to refer himself into this service again should he require to do so.