Greater Manchester

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Improving care and treatment

Health Innovation Manchester is bringing together resources from the NHS, social care and pharmaceutical industry to ensure that every person with COPD has access to equitable, high quality care.  This will involve developing personalised treatment plans that are based on up-to-date research and the most effective medication.  The holistic approach also has a greater emphasis on self-management, smoking cessation, physical activity, mental health and reducing social isolation.

COPD is the fifth biggest killer in the UK.  Patients with COPD suffer with severe breathing difficulties, often resulting in hospitalisation.  There are around 67,000 patients diagnosed with COPD living in Greater Manchester and there are likely to be hundreds more unknowingly struggling with the disease.

The cost of managing COPD-related hospital admissions and medications for Greater Manchester is around £73 million each year, with further indirect costs estimated to be as much as £1.8 billion.   In fact, the city-region has the second highest admission rates for COPD in England, poor outcomes and unwanted variation between GP Practices and localities.

Too often within the current system, patients are diagnosed late and not enough time is dedicated to education or self-management support.  Overall, we are using too many high-cost therapies and not promoting enough the best and most cost-effective treatments such as pulmonary rehabilitation, smoking cessation and flu vaccination.

The GM COPD programme will adopt a holistic approach comprise the following:

  • Patient empowerment – providing patients and carers with the knowledge, skills and resources required to better self-manage their condition with confidence.  Greater focus on pulmonary rehabilitation, flu vaccinations, social isolation, mental health and stopping smoking.
  • Primary care – ensuring GPs and community clinicians/practitioners have the skills and capability to care for COPD patients effectively.  This includes operating virtual clinics and ensuring medicines are properly administered in line with the GMMMG COPD gold guidelines.
  • Locality leadership – developed shared ownership of managing COPD within each locality and maximising assets from a range of partners.

The COPD programme builds on the ground breaking Salford Lung Study, the first randomised controlled trial of its kind to use a digitally connected healthcare system to measure the effectiveness and safety of a medicine in 2,800 COPD patients in an everyday clinical practice setting.

Based on the latest body of research, the Greater Manchester Medicines Management Group (GMMMG) has developed clinician-led guidelines for medicines management in primary care, which will be promoted as part of the programme.

For more information please contact Dai Roberts, Senior Programme Development Lead