Empowering Immunodeficiency Patients: A Day of Support, Knowledge, and Connection

25 October 2023

Within clinical immunology, one of the primary goals is to ensure that patients receive not only medical care but also the practical and emotional support they require. It is about improving their quality of life, and this is precisely why the Clinical Immunology team at Salford Royal hosted an in-person support event.

The day was designed to serve several important purposes. First and foremost, it allowed the team to provide updates on the service and introduce new team members. It also offered patients support and advice, as well as guiding them to any additional support they might need. However, beyond the formalities, it provided a valuable opportunity for patients to come together, socialise, and enjoy a cup of tea and some cake. It's a simple pleasure, but the impact on patient well-being is profound.

Supporting Well-Being and Psychosocial Impact

The well-being and psychosocial impact of living with a chronic condition cannot be understated. For these patients, it's a lifelong journey that often demands physical, emotional, and psychological strength. The support event was, therefore, a much-needed source of empowerment.

Insights and Inspiration

The day featured a line-up of speakers who discussed various aspects of immunology and patient support. Dr Archana Herwadkar, Immunology Consultant, provided insights into genetic testing and investigations, shedding light on the role of the NHS England sub Regional Immunoglobulin panel.

Ivonette Jones, Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist, expressed gratitude to patients for their invaluable input through the annual patient satisfaction survey. She also outlined the role of the patient charity Immunodeficiency UK and the support it offers.

Additional insights came from Respiratory Physiology, with Tom Naraine sharing tips on chest clearance techniques and strategies to maintain healthy lungs. Holly Martin-Smith, a Senior Health Psychologist, engaged the audience with an interactive discussion on dealing with difficult emotions and the practice of mindfulness.

One of the most powerful moments of the event was when two patients volunteered to share their personal journeys with Immunodeficiency, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. Their stories resonated deeply with other patients, creating a profound sense of connection and understanding.

Future Endeavours

Looking ahead, Senior Immunology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Ivonette Jones, emphasised the need to foster patient support groups through networking. This collaborative approach is aimed at enhancing service quality by promoting positive patient experiences.

The event was a resounding success, and the Clinical Immunology team eagerly anticipates hosting more in the future. It's not just a day of information and interaction; it's a testament to the power of unity, empathy, and support in the world of healthcare.

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