In November 2021, ARNS were involved with other key respiratory members, including Primary Care Respiratory Society, Asthma & Lung UK, The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory care, The National Pharmacy Association as a joint working group, sponsored by Astra Zeneca to develop the National COPD Policy Action Plan.
The key priorities agreed were:
- The necessity to accelerate early and accurate diagnosis
- Reduce clinical inertia and focus on prevention
- Minimise health inequality and variation in care
There have been some significant outcomes from this work, it is understood that NICE are considering an update of the COPD Quality Standards, another key development from this work is evidence of disparity across England. Findings for Ireland Scotland and Wales are currently being reviewed, due to having different measurement outcomes. COPD HEATMAP resources have been developed to help address these priorities, demonstrating the variation in COPD care and areas with potential unmet need across England.
The heat map is a tool that enables teams to search for local outcomes in COPD care from NHS data in a geographical map. This enables a visual representation to facilitate a better understanding of what actually happens in COPD care, providing facts and figures to directly impact local clinical management and potential policy change.
The results demonstrate clear disparity across the regions and strengthen the opinion that poor COPD outcomes are linked to deprivation.
The key messages discussed were:
- The variation of COPD admission rates can be as much as 56 times higher compared to the lowest region
- COPD mortality within 30 days of admission is double in some regions compared to the lowest rate
- Pulmonary rehabilitation referral in some areas is as low as 10%
In order to access the Heatmaps in the COPD Portal you will need to register for a login, you can access the Respiratory Outcomes portal here: https://www.respiratoryoutcomes.co.uk/ and is available for Health Care Professionals.
In the Respiratory Outcomes portal there are three buttons for Severe Asthma and COPD resources – click on Private Access COPD. Please note that the Severe Asthma Heatmaps resources are currently unavailable as they are being updated.
You can register for a login by completing the blue scrolling form on the right-hand side. Once this is submitted, your registration request. Once he has approved, you will receive an email containing your login details. To log in, use the ‘Log in’ button on this page and enter the username and password fields as given in the registration email.
For information on how the Heatmaps Portal was created please refer to the www.respiratoryoutcomes.co.uk website.
The resources are updated annually and you can clarify the date range via the ‘Data Sources and Further Information’ and ‘References & External Links’ tabs.
Sign up and see how your patients are being cared for in your area and support the discussion with respiratory teams on areas that need prioritsation, or areas of best practice that can be shared with colleagues.
by Kerry Mills, COPD Lead, ARNS Respiratory Disease Subcommittee