CHI Support to Adult CF Services in Greece



IN 2013 two Greek CF patients contacted a member of CHI at an international CF meeting to ask for help in improving the Athens adult CF service. Subsequently both patients visited the Adult CF centre in Southampton and were able to observe a working day in the department. The patients were particularly keen on improving their access to a trained CF physiotherapist.

At Southampton we were fortunate in having a Greek Doctor as a member of our team, Dr Valia Kechagia. She was able to translate and make subsequent contact with the Athens service. With the financial help and planning from CHI, members of the Southampton Adult CF team were invited to visit the Athens CF service and to speak to a group of CF patients about CF care.

First CHI visit April 2014

Dr Mary Carroll, Director CF Southampton Adult Service, Dr Valia Kechagia CF Clinical fellow, Mrs Tes Hodson CF nurse specialist, Mr Rod Halls, CHI representative, made a 2 day visit to Sismanoglio hospital in April 2014. Day one comprised of a visit to the Athens department, a 15-bedded ward to meet the staff and patients. Day two comprised a presentation to the patients, invited by the Hellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association, and staff of Sismanoglio hospital.

Follow up

Subsequently 2 Greek physiotherapists and the newly appointed director of the Athens service, Dr Diamantea and the head nurse Mrs Anna Tazarni have visited Southampton adult centre. In addition Dr Carroll has visited Athens on 3 further occasions with members of the Southampton Adult Multidisciplinary team to talk at Conferences and to see Greek patients, all organised by the Greek patients. [Financed by funds raised in memory of Dr Kechagia.]

Second CHI visit November 2015

Dr Mary Carroll with nurse Tes Hodson, dietitian Clare Pearson and physiotherapist Emma Holland visited Sismanoglio Hospital to see selected patients and discuss issues with the Athens MDT. This was much appreciated and all wish a return visit as soon as it can be arranged.

Greek staff visiting Southampton CF centre

On the 29th February 2016 two Athens physiotherapists visited Southampton for one week. This was a great success and both physiotherapists reported that they had learnt much useful physiotherapy techniques. [Financed by funds raised in memory of Dr Kechagia.] Following this Dr Diamantea director of the Athens centre spent 3 months the in Southampton CF department observing all aspects of CF care. This included a weeks visit to Harefield hospital lung transplant centre. [Funded by a grant from the European Respiratory Society]

In the summer two physios from Athens attended training in Belgrade organised by CF Europe and in September a physiotherapist from Thessaloniki where there are 50 CF adult patients spent a week with the team in Southampton, funded by CHI.