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.

COPD can be a frightening and isolating disease. It primarily affects people aged over 45, is not fully reversible and is characterised by a chronic, slowly progressive decline in lung function.

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 comprising 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.

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


Case Study: COPD patients get the Aardman treatment in new animation

Animated cats, squirrels and pigeons have been sharing their experiences of living with and treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) in Greater Manchester as part of a new engaging video from Aardman.

The Academy® Award-winning studio, who created “Wallace & Gromit”, “Shaun the Sheep” and “Creature Comforts”, have used testimonials collected from real patients and clinicians to create a unique film designed to raise awareness of COPD and give patients a voice and chance to improve care for the next patient.

The film sees COPD patients discuss their symptoms, their experience of living with the condition and why it is important for patients to have a voice in their care – all while animated as a variety of animals and pets.

It also encourages other patients to have their say on their care as part of a new pilot feedback project, “Rate My Inhaler” currently running in Greater Manchester as part of a wider COPD programme.

Health Innovation Manchester, the organisation responsible for accelerating proven innovation into Greater Manchester’s health and social care services at pace, has worked in collaboration with healthcare company GSK and iWantGreatCare (iWGC), the world’s largest independent patient feedback platform, for the project.

The service offers patients the chance to rate and review not only the care they received from their clinicians, but for the first time, review their prescribed COPD maintenance inhalers.