Met Office helps cut COPD admissions

A Devon practice cut COPD-related hospital admissions by 86 per cent thanks to work with the Met Office.

The Chilcote Surgery in Torbay used the Met Office's twice-weekly weather forecasts to help patients identify weather that might exacerbate their COPD, enabling them to manage it.

COPD-related hospital admissions fell from 35 in October 2004 to five in May 2006.

Chilcote Surgery developed a COPD register to identify those most at risk and appointed a specialist nurse coordinator to communicate with patients.

COPD patients were presented with information packs, including a guide to avoid symptoms worsening.

Where appropriate, some patients are also provided with personal management plans along with medication.

When symptoms occur, patients are able to start using their medication faster, alerting their nurse or GP as soon as they do so to ensure they are monitored.

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