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RespiratoryJul 5, 2024

Respiratory physio Pearlene Antoine-Pitterson impressed by the multidisciplinary nature of BTS event

Manchester is a vibrant city that played host to the BTS summer meeting in June. The Manchester Central Convention Complex was a fantastic venue. Some of the biggest names in respiratory medicine delivered outstanding talks, lectures, and questions, making it a thrilling event. The meeting had its largest attendance this year, with more than 800 delegates. The event featured excellent speakers and strong representation from the multidisciplinary team (MDT), with sessions held across both days (20-21 June).

I was kindly asked to deliver a talk as part of the pneumonia session on the second day, titled ‘Pneumonia Best Practice’, as part of the symposium ‘Prevention and Best Practice’. I spoke alongside two fantastic speakers, Dr Mark Juniper and Dr Cathryn Hyams, and the session was chaired by Kiran Bidaria, a clinical nurse specialist. Our collective message was clear: as an MDT, we can all champion pneumonia care for our patients.

After this session, there was, of course, one of the most important events of the day: tea and coffee, which provided a chance to network, discuss the talks so far, and review posters showcasing ongoing research across the nation.

Photo Credit: BTS
The 'breadth and depth' of subjects covered at the BTS event stood out for Pearlene


Let’s Get Things in Order

Later, I joined the symposium session titled ‘Let’s Get Things in Order: COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]’. The speakers emphasised the need to put the patient at the centre of care, offering practical solutions to prevent COPD exacerbations. Following this session, Professor Havi Carel from the University of Bristol delivered a powerful and emotive lecture on breathlessness and lung transplantation, providing personal insights from both a patient and clinician perspective. It was poignant, moving, and thought-provoking, highlighting the complexity of breathlessness.

This fireside-style discussion provided a unique opportunity to understand how other MDT members fit within the care of complex ventilation patients and the deeper challenges faced by patients and carers [Pearlene Antoine-Pitterson ]

Mini short course

After lunch, I assumed my role as chair for a mini short course, along with Dr Ben Jones, a consultant based in Cardiff. The course, titled ‘The Patient’s Journey: Receiving respiratory support from hospital to home’, featured a line-up of MDT speakers. Dr Murali Shyamsundar discussed high-flow nasal therapy, while Dr Camilla Dawson, a speech and language therapist, spoke on the complex airway, sialorrhea, and the challenges of weaning. Physiotherapist Charlotte Massey then delivered a talk on airway clearance and future prospects for patients.

After a brief break, we reconvened for the second part of the mini short course. Our penultimate talk was given by Debbie Field, a consultant nurse in home mechanical ventilation, who delivered a powerful presentation on the intricacies of caring for patients with life-limiting conditions. She reminded us about the importance of quality of life for our patients and their carers.

We then had a more informal approach to the final session, culminating in a discussion between me, Dr Jones, Debbie Field, and the welcome addition of Dawn Copeland, an occupational therapist, and Jane Rogers, an advanced nurse practitioner in home ventilation.

This fireside-style discussion provided a unique opportunity to understand how other MDT members fit within the care of complex ventilation patients and the deeper challenges faced by patients and carers, including physical, economic, and emotional difficulties. This culminated in a fantastic end to the day and an appreciation of the breadth and depth of subjects that the BTS covers.

As the sun set on another fantastic summer meeting showcasing work from across the UK and beyond, I look forward to what the BTS winter meeting will bring. 

Pearlene Antoine-Pitterson is an assistant professor of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham’s sport exercise and rehabilitation sciences department

To read physio Enya Daynes' exclusive report on the BTS summer meeting, click

Author: Pearlene Antoine-Pitterson
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