PERFORMANCE: North Hampshire clinical commissioning group has reported a fall in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients going to hospital after it changed its working methods.

Respiratory outpatient attendance was down by 13 per cent in 2012-13, while follow up respiratory and outpatient appointments were also down by 4 per cent.

One of the CCG’s 21 practices reported a 28 percentage point fall in COPD smokers, dropping from 35 per cent to 7 per cent.

Another surgery said COPD patients with personal care plans rising from 5 per cent to 95 per cent.

The work on COPD began in 2011 when North Hampshire CCG decided to pilot COPD as an example of a long term condition where joint working might improve outcomes. 

The press release said the CCG brought together patients, charities and voluntary groups, primary, secondary and social care teams, ambulance, pharmacy and end of life teams to develop a COPD pathway.

A year ago the CCG wrote to all its member practices to share the COPD Pathway, NICE Guidance, plus data on prevalence, outpatients, admissions, prescribing and costs.  She arranged to meet with each surgery. She collaborated with action plans for every practice

GP respiratory lead, Dr Nicola Decker said “It shows what CCGs can achieve by working with other health and social care partners. Together we’ve broken down organisational barriers, with the shared goal of achieving better outcomes for patients regardless of which organisation you come from.”

Information supplied to HSJ showed that COPD prevalence was 1.21 per cent in 2012-13 – up from 1.17 per cent a year earlier.

Although the group put the rise down to more patients being diagnosed, prevalence had been rising since 2010-11.