Clinicians in Greater Manchester can offer more support to patients with COPD thanks to the launch of the COPD Virtual Learning Hub

GP virtual learning hub
  • The COPD Virtual Learning Hub will support the work of the GM COPD programme, with the aim of ensuring that every citizen in Greater Manchester with COPD has access to equitable, high quality care.
  • The hub has been developed to provide a free learning tool aimed at clinicians across the system, with step-by-step guidance on the most up-to-date management of COPD including guidelines, videos and other resources.
  • The hub will also support roll out of ‘virtual clinics’ in Greater Manchester, where secondary and primary care clinicians meet to discuss patient care through virtual records, with the aim of promoting best practice.

Clinicians across Greater Manchester can now access online support and resources to support their care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Health Innovation Manchester, the organisation responsible for accelerating proven innovation into Greater Manchester’s health and social care service at pace, has collaborated with Health Education England to develop a COPD Virtual Learning Hub hosted by GP Excellence (GPex).

The comprehensive learning tool is free to use and is aimed at clinicians across the system in Greater Manchester. It will provide a step-by-step approach to understanding the Greater Manchester Medicines Management Group (GMMMG) COPD Guidelines and virtual clinic model through useful videos and links to resources.

The virtual clinic model aims to support the education of health care practitioners and patients with COPD across all social groups, support the reduction of tobacco dependency and ensure that they receive safe and effective care, based on the most up to date evidence, which aims to improve patient outcomes.

The hub includes videos from experts in COPD which provide insight into the management of COPD patients using the GMMMG guidelines and virtual clinic models.

Other resources, available on the hub include links to documents covering pulmonary rehabilitation, smoking cessation and the role of pharmacists in the management of COPD patients.

Dr Binita Kane

Dr Binita Kane, Consultant Chest Physician at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and the clinician lead for the Health Innovation Manchester COPD programme said:

“Our outcomes for people with COPD in Greater Manchester remain poor. Part of the issue is the rapidly changing face of guidelines and medications which are difficult for healthcare professionals to keep pace of. The hub’s resources will allow clinicians to gain a better understanding of the GMMMG COPD guidelines, which are clinician-led and been developed based on the latest research evidence.

“The resources will help not only optimise patients’ medications but focus on cost-effective treatments such as reducing tobacco addiction and increasing referrals to pulmonary rehabilitation, which will lead to improved outcomes in COPD. By easily accessing the resources, all in one place, clinicians can gain insights from internationally renowned specialists, GPs, practice nurses, pharmacists and others and be sure that they are providing their patients with high-quality care.”

The site and the content will be regularly updated, and resources housed on GP Excellence will progress with the developments of the system. Clinicians can also provide feedback on the hub, which will be used to support these updates and developments on the site to better meet the needs of clinicians.

The overall aim of the Greater Manchester COPD programme is to ensure that every citizen in the city-region with COPD has access the equitable, high quality healthcare.

Since the launch of the programme back in March 2018, virtual clinics are being rolled out in three localities. Health Innovation Manchester has been successful in securing and funding over 6,500 myCOPD licences, a web-based application providing education pulmonary rehabilitation and disease management tailored to the user, for use in Greater Manchester.