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Pharmacy COPD pilot leads to patient self-management

Pharmacy COPD pilot leads to patient self-management

A chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Case Finding Service on the Wirral has succeeded in identifying patients who have undiagnosed COPD so that earlier interventions can be made.

Posted: 17 June 2014

The service has also helped them and others who have confirmed COPD to avoid hospital admissions. In the process the service has demonstrated the value of pharmacists as a major support for patients and professional colleagues in both primary and secondary care teams.

The COPD service, which was offered to pharmacy clients as part of the Community Pharmacy Future project, has worked to support patients at 34 pharmacies and has enabled patients to talk through issues related to their medication compliance and technique. The Community Pharmacy Future Project is a joint venture between major pharmacy chains Boots, The Co-operative Pharmacy, Lloyds Pharmacy and Rowlands Pharmacy. For the COPD Case Finding Service pharmacists screened 238 patients in 21 pharmacies and identified 57% who were at risk of COPD. The pilot findings show the potential savings from diagnosing patients earlier would be £264 million a year. Likewise the CPF COPD Support Service pilot, for people with established COPD, saw 306 patients across 34 pharmacies and provided support to patients to get the most from their medicines. The pharmacies said potential savings in NHS costs are in the region of £139 million per a year.

Habib Khan, one of the pharmacists who offered the service at a Rowlands Pharmacy, on the Wirral, told Primary Care Today the service highlighted how much people need advice on what to do to manage their condition. ‘The majority of people go to see their doctors and they are just given these inhalers. That’s it until they go for a review 6-12 months later. The service we offered enabled us to encourage and educate people about their condition and their medicines and it has given us the ability to prescribe or suggest to the prescriber additional items to help the patient get the best out of their medication’, he said.

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