Norfolk and Norwich Interstitial Lung Disease Service
Professor Andrew Wilson, Consultant Respiratory Physician
Dr Ajay Kamath, Consultant Respiratory Physician
Dr Chris Atkins, Consultant Respiratory Physician
Sandra Olive, Consultant Respiratory Nurse
You have been referred to the Norwich Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Service for further assessment of your symptoms, diagnosis or specialist treatment.
Your first appointment is likely to be with one of the Consultant Physicians and you may also meet one of the specialist nursing team. You will usually need some tests, including a chest x-ray, lung function (breathing) tests and blood tests. You may also need a CT scan of your chest unless you have already had one, and an exercise test. Some people need some additional tests, which will be discussed with you if necessary.
After the first assessment appointment, once we have the results of all the tests, we will discuss it with you at a meeting to agree with a diagnosis and treatment options. This meeting (called a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting) is attended by the Respiratory Consultants, Radiologists (experts in reading chest x-rays and scans), Thoracic Surgeons, Pathologists (experts in looking at cells under a microscope), ILD Specialist Nurse and the MDT co-ordinator, who makes sure the plan from the meeting is recorded and followed up. Sometimes the MDT meeting will recommend some further tests to clarify the diagnosis and appropriate treatment. We will write to you and your doctor with the plan from the meeting and will discuss it with you at your next clinic appointment.
Interstitial Lung Disease is usually a slow process in the lungs and does not always need immediate treatment. The recommendation from the MDT discussion may be that the best plan is to continue to monitor you carefully by reviewing your symptoms along with breathing tests and exercise tests. Specific drug treatments may help some people and these will be discussed with you as appropriate. These usually
require regular monitoring with blood tests and breathing tests to check whether the treatment is working and not causing unwanted side effects.
The ILD service works closely with a number of other services including the Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Home Oxygen teams, the Palliative and Supportive Care team, the Breathlessness Service, Physiotherapy and Rheumatology. If we think you might benefit from seeing one of these teams we will discuss with you before referral.
If we need to continue to follow you up in the ILD service, you will be advised when to expect your next appointment. This may be with one of the consultants or with a member of the specialist nursing team. We may then alternate follow up visits with your local hospital.
There are local patient support groups for people living with lung disease – please ask for details at your appointment. More information is available from:
- Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis APF Support Line 01223 785725
- Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust
- British Lung Foundation
We have an active programme of respiratory research in Norwich. The involvement of those with lung disease is vital to help us to understand how to manage these conditions better and you may be asked about whether you would like to take part in relevant studies. This is entirely voluntary and does not affect your clinical care.