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25 May 2022

The Frimley Respiratory team

The Adult Integrated Respiratory (AIR) and the Frimley Respiratory Team are celebrating their success after winning two awards. 

The teams won the Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) Respiratory Collaborative Quality Improvement Project Award, while nurse specialist Robyn Willis won the Respiratory Rising Star Award at the recent Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists Conference. 

The AIR team is made up of Frimley Health staff working in partnership with colleagues from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.  

The teams won their KSS award for taking over the running of the COVID rehabilitation service, providing support for patients who had been admitted to critical care with COVID and required CPAP or other respiratory support. Without the rehabilitation service the patients would not have received any further specialist respiratory support after discharge.  

The teams took on the task of triaging more than 300 appropriate patients for the service before establishing a framework of support. This included an exercise programme to improve strength and endurance and an education programme led by staff from across the multi-disciplinary team – including physiotherapists (breathlessness management), occupational therapists (planning, pacing and prioritising) and respiratory nurses (recovery from ICU admittance).  

One patient said: “I feel confident going forwards that I can make the most of my recovery and pass on my experience to others.” Another said: “I really valued the structure of the service. Before the course I found it difficult to make time for my recovery. The whole experience was fantastic.” 

The teams are now continuing with their specialist respiratory work, working with patients with chronic lung disease, some of whom are post-COVID patients who were first referred through the COVID rehabilitation service.  


The second award was given to respiratory nurse specialist Robyn Willis from the AIR team after she was nominated for the Respiratory Rising Star Award by clinical lead Joanne King.  

Robyn joined the AIR team in 2019 after working as a critical care nurse in Zimbabwe. 

Within her first three months at the Trust, Robyn was redeployed to critical care to help the Trust respond to the first wave of COVID. Following this she was also keen to help the team set up its new C-AIR service, offering supportive discharge to COVID patients.  

Joanne King, respiratory consultant nurse and clinical lead for the AIR team, said: “Robyn has continued to grow in confidence and ability and is an excellent nurse. She has a long career ahead of her in respiratory care and I very much hope she stays and progresses with the team. 

“Robyn has never faltered in her dedication to her work and patients, or her support to colleagues. And throughout this time, she has been away from home and unable to travel to see family. She is a remarkable character and an exceptional nurse who will go far.” 

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