APF Appoint new Support Group Co-ordinator
As part of the charity’s commitment to supporting patients and families affected by IPF, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis has appointed former respiratory nurse, Lorna McLaughlin as Support Group Co-ordinator.
Lorna McLaughlin joined APF this summer as Support Group Co-ordinator to work alongside the Chairman, Mike Bray, who is responsible for developing pulmonary fibrosis support groups for the charity. Lorna is very experienced in respiratory care and did her training at the North West Lung Centre in Manchester when oxygen therapy was in its infancy.
She has been a staff nurse, a district nurse and a community respiratory nurse specialist in Wigan. Her breadth of experience and knowledge gives her a unique insight into the needs of IPF patients and she is currently working to support the existing pulmonary fibrosis support group network of 35 groups and to extend the network into other areas of the UK.
Lorna says of her new role: “My first job was to contact all the existing groups and introduce myself and I had a huge response from the group leaders, welcoming me in my new role and providing me with updates. I was then able to update the support group section of our website, adding new dates for forthcoming meetings and editing any changes required. Whilst there are support groups in all strategic locations across the UK there are still areas where patients need to travel long distances to reach a group.
I have therefore started looking at these areas and contacting healthcare staff to help and support them to set up new groups. I plan to continue this work and hopefully encourage new groups as either satellite groups from existing support groups or as stand alone groups in some areas.The work is very rewarding, especially when you visit a newly set up group and hear what the patient are say regarding the huge difference it makes to their lives and the lives of the family, friends and carers.”
If you’d like more information about support groups – or help to start a new group – please contact or call her on 07914 426 269.