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Respiratory medicine

Expert assessment and treatment of respiratory conditions

Here at The Sarum Road Hospital in Winchester, a highly experienced Consultant Respiratory Physician provides assessment and treatment for a wide range of respiratory conditions or symptoms in people aged 18+. He would be delighted to help you too.

Respiratory medicine is involved with the diagnosis and management of diseases affecting: 

  • the lower respiratory tract (trachea, bronchi, and lungs) 
  • the lining (pleura) of the lung and chest wall 
  • some structures in the centre of the chest (these are known as mediastinal structures), such as the lymph glands

A doctor who specialises in this field is a Consultant Respiratory Physician.

Diseases and conditions affecting the respiratory system can be sorted into 7 categories: 

  • Allergic 
  • Vascular 
  • Autoimmune
  • Inflammatory
  • Infective
  • Cancer
  • Idiopathic (unknown cause) 

Whether you are struggling with frequent bouts of breathlessness or frustrated by a long-term cough, expert assessment and guidance is available to help improve your respiratory health. Why not book your private appointment with us today? 

Please note that patients with symptoms or a diagnosis of Long COVID are best treated by specialist clinics established in Primary Care, not the Respiratory Consultant at The Sarum Road Hospital.  

Your respiratory system is crucial to your health and quality of life. Symptoms of a problem potentially being caused by your respiratory system include:

  • Breathlessness 
  • Persistent coughing
  • Coughing up blood or sputum
  • Shallow or rapid breathing
  • Chest pain 
  • Wheezing 

Common respiratory conditions that people need help managing include: 

  • Asthma – a common condition, often well-managed using inhalers. Causes wheezing and shortness of breath A serious asthma attack is a medical emergency and requires urgent treatment.
  • Pneumonia – inflammation of the lungs.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
  • Interstitial lung diseases – such as Pulmonary Fibrosis (scar tissue in the lungs).
  • Lung cancer – with roughly 47,000 people in the UK diagnosed with this every year, it is one of the most common types of cancer.
  • Bronchitis - inflammation of the airways in the lungs.
  • Bronchiectasis –a build-up of mucus caused by abnormal enlargement of the airways. This can increase the risk of developing an infection. 
  • Sarcoidosis - an inflammatory condition causing shortness of breath and/or a persistent cough. 

Although a number of respiratory conditions cannot be cured, appropriate treatment can often help to manage symptoms. 

Treatments include: 

  • Inhalers 
  • Antibiotics 
  • Steroids 
  • Immune modulators. 

Any treatment will always be tailored to your specific needs to ensure you receive the best possible relief of symptoms. 

Depending on your symptoms, you may be referred to specialists in other fields for further investigation and/or treatment if indicated. For example, if you are having chest pains but a respiratory cause has been ruled out, you may be referred to our colleagues in Cardiology. 

Please note you must have a referral from a GP, physiotherapist, or other health professional before booking a private appointment with this Consultant.

This ensures your Consultant has access to your previous medical history and any relevant test results, such as a recent chest X-ray or blood test.

Your first appointment at The Sarum Road Hospital will be focused on getting clarity about the cause of your symptoms.

When you meet with your Consultant, they will talk with you about your symptoms. They will want to know things like:

  • What symptoms do you have?
  • When did these symptoms first start / first become noticeable? 
  • Do you have any pain in your chest? If so, can you describe it?  
  • How are your symptoms affecting daily life? 
  • Are there any things you can no longer do because of your symptoms? 
  • Do you have a management plan already / are you currently receiving any type of treatment? 
  • How is your general health? Do you have any underlying conditions?

They will usually carry out a physical examination of your chest and any other relevant systems, using a stethoscope to listen to your lungs as you inhale and exhale.

Further tests may be needed to aid diagnosis, including: 

  • Chest X-ray 
  • Spirometry - measures how much air you can breathe out in one forced breath
  • Pulmonary Function Tests
  • Blood tests
  • Computed Tomography (CT) of the chest
  • Bronchoscopy - a telescopic view of the airways under sedation, allowing capture of samples for analysis
  • Ultrasound (U/S) of the chest +/- guided drainage of fluid between the lung and chest wall 
  • Analysis of available tests which may have been done previously 

While some of these can be carried out on-site at The Bishops Wood Hospital, others will be arranged off-site for you. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans and other advanced investigations can also be requested outside the hospital if required.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your Consultant will talk through treatment options with you. If you have any questions or concerns, they will be very happy to discuss these with you during your private appointment.  

Most people who visit us for help with a respiratory problem live in Winchester or the surrounding areas. However, excellent road access makes it very easy to visit us from further afield should you wish.

When you choose to visit The Sarum Road Hospital for help with your respiratory condition, you will benefit from:

Fast assessment by an expert – Certain chest and lung conditions are best treated when diagnosed at the earliest possible stage. We can quickly and easily arrange a private appointment for you with our experienced Consultant Respiratory Physician, so you will be able to get the help you need sooner.

Consultant-led care – You will see the same Consultant for each visit and will never have to worry about being treated by a more junior doctor. Your Consultant will oversee every aspect of your care, from initial consultation and diagnosis through to treatment planning, treatment, and ongoing monitoring.

Remote appointments available – Although many people prefer having their appointment in person at the hospital, we can offer telephone appointments if required. (Many people find this most convenient for follow-up appointments.) 

Access to a wider team – Your Consultant is supported in their role by a larger healthcare team, including radiologists, physiotherapists, nurses, cardiologists, and oncologists who work on-site at The  Bishops Wood Hospital. Fast, simple access to any member of this wider healthcare team ensures you will always see the most appropriate person for your specific needs. Particularly complex respiratory cases can be discussed with other specialists to formulate the very best treatment plan for you.

Recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 99.5% of the people we treated said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend The Sarum Road Hospital to their friends and family.

Location – The hospital is just minutes from the centre of Winchester, located in a stunning rural setting on the edge of the Royal Winchester Golf Club. 

For peace of mind and expert care for any respiratory symptoms or concerns, please contact us to book your private appointment at The  Sarum Road Hospital today. We look forward to welcoming you to our hospital soon and helping get you back to better respiratory health.  

Specialists offering Respiratory medicine

Dr Samal Gunatilake

Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine

Bachelor of medicine

Sarum Road Hospital

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Dr Jonathan Owen

Consultant Respiratory Physician


Sarum Road Hospital

View profile Book online