We are a specialist treatment centre for adult cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and we currently look after approximately 120 patients.
Our cystic fibrosis unit (CFU) was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra in 2002 and we are lucky to have the support of the charity Cystic Fibrosis Care at Frimley Park (CF@FP). The charity raised money to help build the unit and continues to support us by providing equipment to make the experience of being in hospital more comfortable.
We have five outpatient treatments rooms and five en suite inpatient bedrooms, so all care is provided on the same unit. We have five dedicated car parking spaces opposite the CFU.
If you are under our care, you will usually be seen at least once every three months in an outpatient clinic to review your lung function and ensure that you are keeping well. Our main clinic day is Tuesday, but we run additional clinics on Mondays or Fridays. If you have provided a mobile phone number, you will receive a text message the day before clinic to remind you of your appointment time.
When you arrive at the CFU you and your visitors will be asked to gel your hands. This is especially important on our unit as CF patients are prone to infections. We have a strict cross-infection and infection control policy and you should not come into contact with any other CF patients. You must also gel your hands every time that you touch equipment or people. After you have sanitised your hands, you will be shown to a treatment room where you will normally remain throughout your visit.
A nurse or care assistant will take your observations, height, weight and spirometry (a lung function test). You will be asked for a sputum sample. Each member of the CF team (specialist nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist and doctor) will come and review you in your room. If you need other investigations, such as blood tests or x-rays, these will also be undertaken at your appointment.
Annual reviews are completed in two parts. The first is at the annual review clinic where you will be seen by a specialist nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist and pharmacist who will carry out detailed assessments of your progress. In addition to the usual clinic investigations, you will have a blood test, a chest and abdominal x-ray, an ECG, an exercise test if you are well enough to complete one, and a glucose tolerance test (if you do not already have diabetes). The second part of the annual review takes place about six weeks later where the consultant will review all your test results and devise a treatment plan with you for the year ahead.
We run a joint CF-related diabetes clinic on the third Monday of each month where you will see a diabetes consultant and a diabetes specialist nurse in addition to the CF team. We have a number of links with other specialties, including gastroenterology, obstetrics, surgery, vascular and radiology departments, to which you can be referred if necessary.
Should you feel you might benefit from support with your mood or managing adherence to the demands of the treatment the team can also refer you to the clinical psychologist who works on the unit.
Each inpatient room has en suite facilities and includes a television, a Nintendo Wii game console, a fridge, a desk and a wardrobe. Laptops, PlayStations and DVDs are available on the unit. We have our own wireless broadband and phones in each room, paid for by the charity. Please note, phones should only be used for local calls. You are welcome to use your own mobile phones too. We also have exercise bikes.
If you need to be admitted, please bring with you all of your medications, including any physiotherapy devices, gastrostomy extension sets, feed and insulin pens. You will have physiotherapy twice a day and see the dietitian at least twice a week. If needed, we can also arrange for you to meet with the clinical psychologist.
As well as the main hospital menu, extra food items are available for you to order from the kitchen at mealtimes, as well as snacks from our snack trolley. As each room has a small fridge and we have a microwave in our kitchen, you are welcome to bring in food from home provided that it is pre-packed and in date with clear heating instructions.
We have open visiting hours but please also allow time to rest.
What to do if you become unwell…
If you become unwell in between clinic appointments you should contact the specialist nurses during office hours on 01276 604597 or 01276 522619. Alternatively, you can call the ward directly on 01276 526661 or 01276 522410.
If you become unwell out of office hours please call the unit to inform us but attend the emergency department (ED or A&E). Please inform the staff in ED that you are a CF patient and ask them to contact one of the CF Team.