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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has released a new quality standard on COPD, including 13 statements aimed to define high quality care for patients.
“People with COPD should have a current, individualised, comprehensive management plan, including high-quality information and educational material about the condition and its management, relevant to the stage of disease,” says the standard.
“Those with advanced COPD, and their carers, should be identified and offered palliative care that addresses their physical, social and emotional needs, while people with COPD who smoke should be regularly encouraged to stop and offered the full range of evidence-based smoking cessation support.”
Around 835,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with COPD, but it is thought that there are about 2 million people living with the disease who have not been diagnosed.
Symptoms include shortness of breath, having a cough that lasts a long time, often coughing up phlegm or catarrh, or a lot of coughing, breathlessness or wheezing during cold weather.
“COPD is a serious, harmful condition that has a very significant impact on everyday life,” said Christine Carson, Programme Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE.
“We are, therefore, very pleased to be publishing this quality standard, adding to the bank of standards already available, which we hope will play an important role in improving patient care and outcomes.
“The NICE quality standard on COPD is an important addition to the recently published Outcomes Strategy for COPD and Asthma.”
Dr Iain Small, Executive Committee Chair at the Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS-UK), said:
“The Primary Care Respiratory Society welcomes the publication of this new quality standard.
“COPD can be a very distressing condition, so this standard is important for both patients to understand what level of care they can expect to receive, and healthcare professionals to help them deliver the best quality treatment.
“It will also be useful for clinical commissioning groups as a guide for specifying the standard of services they commission from providers.”