Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Care (COPD)

Information and useful links on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Care (COPD).

1. What condition do you suffer with?

If you have access to your medical records then check it says Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In the past this used to be called Emphysema or Chronic Bronchitis.

2. What does COPD mean?

2. What does COPD mean?
Here are some links for COPD which you may find interesting;

Standards for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients with COPD

3. What help is available for you to use?

  • Your doctor or nurse would be happy to advise you about your condition. Here is some really good advice on what to do before you come and see the doctor or nurse
  • In general the nurse deals with ongoing COPD including developing a personalised care pathway with you and showing you how to use your inhalers, ensuring you are up-to-date with your vaccinations and doing repeat spirometry for you.
  • Your GP usually deals with any exacerbations you may suffer with and follow-up if needed urgently if you have needed rescue medication or needed to go to the hospital or call the Out of Hours service, They can also ensure you get repeat antibiotics and steroids if you have needed to use them.
  • Make sure you remember to get your flu injection. You will also need a pneumococcal injection once every 10 years too.
  • It is important to know how to get an appointment with a doctor in the surgery if you need it. We do telephone triage over the phone to determine whether the problem can be solved over the phone rather than having to come to the surgery. If it is out of hours and you are not sure what to do then click here to see what options you have
  • Smoking cessation services are available in the practice and also by the smoking cessation service. Please speak to the receptionist who can inform you about the service available or you can go online here.
  • Watch this series of videos to ensure your inhaler technique is correct
  • Breathe Easy Tameside run by the British Lung Foundation provides essential self help support and advice and is headed by Ian Kenworthy, a local COPD champion.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation is very beneficial for all COPD patients. See a video on what this means

4. What does COPD mean for you?

You need to know that you have stopped smoking or where to get help to stop smoking if you are still doing so. You should have your flu injection annually. It is important to know what inhalers you should be taking and how to take them. If you have been given antibiotics and steroids to keep at home then you should know what the first symptoms of a chest infection are so that you can start the treatment immediately and then order repeat prescriptions to replace what you have used. If you are also on oxygen then you should know how to get help if you have problems with your oxygen. You should ensure you have spirometry done at least annually including a note of your MRC Dyspnoea Scale and have a personalised care plan that has been reviewed with your nurse or doctor. You should have been on pulmonary rehabilitation to help you to safely exercise. Patients with COPD can often suffer with anxiety, depression, panic disorder and loneliness. 

5. What needs to happen now and in the future?

You should have your flu injection once a year. You should have an annual review of your COPD once a year with your nurse which should include a review of your personal care plan, review of inhalers and inhaler technique, smoking advice, pulmonary rehabilitation and information about self-help groups such as Breathe-Easy that may also be able to help you too. You should also discuss how you feel about your condition and whether you feel anxious, depressed or lonely. 

6. What can you do to help?

As this is a new way of working, it is worth discussing this with the nurse to see how this can be done the first time you decide to take control.