The COPD Care Checklist is a way of informing people with COPD about their treatment and encouraging them to become more involved in managing their condition. By promoting better interventions the checklist aims to stop a person’s COPD from getting worse and avoid unnecessary and expensive hospital admissions.

Why was this work needed?

1.2 million people have been diagnosed with COPD (a group of lung conditions which cause difficulty breathing) and more are undiagnosed. COPD costs the NHS £491 million a year, primarily due to the costs of hospital treatment which could often be avoided if individuals managed their condition more effectively. People with COPD generally want to be more actively involved in their own treatment but they require support to do so effectively.

What happened?

This project used a new approach for engaging people with COPD - providing them with personalised information about their condition, what treatment they should be expecting to receive and what that costs the NHS. It was designed by involving people with COPD to make sure that the intervention was appropriate for them.

The final checklist is a short document, laying out various aspects of someone’s treatment and grading it with a traffic light system, such as a red light indicating someone without a self-management plan. The Checklist encourages people to use it as a prompt when speaking to their GP or nurse. It also lays out the NHS costs of routine treatment against emergency treatment. For example, it clearly explains the difference in cost of using an inhaler correctly compared to calling an ambulance.

 

Example of a COPD checklist

What were the benefits?

In the evaluation of the project, the Checklist created long term behaviour change by giving people a better understanding of their condition, allowing them to be better engaged and actively self-manage their COPD. The project team also found that the Checklist made GPs and nurses more aware of prevention at their level and the need to develop good partnerships with people with COPD.

This project demonstrated the importance of giving patients improved access to information about themselves, in particular for conditions like COPD that benefit so significantly from improved self-management.

What type of data was involved?

The Checklist included a range of data about the person with COPD, including whether they’d recently had their annual COPD review and whether they had been on a pulmonary rehabilitation course. The data shown was based on the NICE guidelines for the care, tests and interventions that patients with COPD should be receiving.

This work involved sharing individuals’ own data with them and so did not require any special permissions. However, personalised medication information was not included due to concerns about confidentiality.

Who funded and collaborated on this work?

This project was led by NHS Redbridge and supported by the Health Foundation SHINE 2011 programme.

Where can I go for more information?

COPD Care Checklist example