Improving outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

There are currently 1.2million people with a diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) across the country; however, there is the opportunity to diagnose up to three times as many people.

This variation impacts on CCGs, STPs and the NHS by causing:

  • Common long term disabling conditions
  • Frequent hospital admissions
  • Many patients with COPD remain undiagnosed in the community and are only identified at the point of hospital admission.
  • Large variations in care accounting for avoidable mortality

Today, the NHS RightCare Pathway for COPD is published. Developed in association with NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Respiratory Services, the British Lung Foundation, the British Thoracic Society, Respiratory Futures, the Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS-UK), and the National COPD Audit Programme and a range of clinical and patient representatives and stakeholders, this pathway sets out to health commissioners and providers how to ensure early detection with accurate diagnosis and optimise long-term management to reduce exacerbations, hospital admissions and premature mortality. In doing so, people and patients with, and at risk of, COPD should achieve better health outcomes.

The pathway provides a national case for change and a set of resources to support local health economies to concentrate their improvement efforts where there is greatest opportunity to address variation and improve population health.