Practices slash the cost of COPD

Practices in Norfolk halved COPD-related hospital admissions by targeting resources to at-risk patients.

GP Dr Daryl Freeman presented the results of the project at the International Primary Care Respiratory Group conference in Toronto last month.

Two Thetford practices running the scheme cut COPD-related admissions from 110 in 2008/9 to 50 in 2009/10.

This saved over £97,346.

They assessed all respiratory readmissions, targeted those patients and gave staff extra spirometry and COPD tuition.

They aimed to boost diagnoses, ensure existing patients were correctly classified, increase use of intermediate care and pulmonary rehabilitation and integration with secondary care. Dr Freeman said the changes had created a 'truly integrated' COPD service.

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