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Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month | September 2022

Ann Box And Siobhan Donnelly

Ann Box and Siobhan Donnelly are Interstitial Lung Disease Respiratory Nurse Specialists at the Western Trust are delighted to support Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month – September 2022.

Ann and Siobhan said:

“September is Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month across the world and we are delighted to support Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month throughout September 2022 by developing a number of videos to help raise awareness of the condition and provide information and advice to patients and their families on how they can benefit from the services that is offered in the Western trust in order to help them live well with their condition.

“We are very grateful for the support of patient James Harkness from Omagh who agreed to participate in the video to give a patient perspective on what care and treatment is provided by the Respiratory Services Team across the Western Trust geography.  Siobhan and I cover clinics at Altnagelvin Hospital, South West Acute Hospital, and Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex with the aim of providing services close to where our patients live. If you or a loved one have any concerns please contact your GP in the first instance and they will make a referral to the Respiratory Team.”

Introducing the Interstitial Lung Disease Nurse Service in the Western Trust and explaining the patient journey Siobhan said:

“If you have a diagnosis of Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) such as Pulmonary Fibrosis, when you come to clinic the Specialist Nurse will carry out a comprehensive respiratory assessment. We will discuss, tests and treatments, monitor patients for signs of disease progression. The Specialist Nurse will provide education and advice about your diagnoses, treatment, lifestyle changes and recommendations to help alleviate any symptoms you are experiencing.  Sometimes referrals are made to other departments such as dietitians, clinical psychology or palliative care services or the Northern Ireland Pulmonary Fibrosis Support group.”

Siobhan continued:

“We provide educational support and signpost you to a wide range of information including Asthma and Lung UK (formerly BLF). We participate in Interstitial Lung Disease Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings where CT Scans and Chest X-rays are reviewed and discussed and a treatment plan is put into action. We are a point of contact for patients and carers to support them through their journey with Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF). We would encourage referrals to this service from any medical, nursing or Allied Health Profession (AHP) staff that have identified a patient with PF who could benefit from our input. Have a discussion with your doctor or nurse to make the referral to our service.’’

Patient James Harkness who was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis 12 years ago explained:

“I attend the Fibrosis Clinic in Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex under the care of Siobhan. When I first came to Siobhan my oxygen levels were very low. I now receive oxygen to my home and I am reviewed at the clinic. If anyone has any conditions similar to my own they should see their own GP and get referred to the clinic. It really has helped me greatly. I’m now able to walk and very grateful for the care and treatment from Siobhan and the staff in the Clinic.”

There is also a Pulmonary Fibrosis Patient Support Group which launched a new website this week. This is a regional group and any patients can access this support group no matter which Trust location they live in. The group are encouraging referrals and ambassadors from across Northern Ireland.  For more information please go to  or Twitter #HaveALaughForPF