Multidisciplinary virtual clinics are an innovative way to bring together hospital lung specialists and primary care clinicians to improve the care of people with long term lung conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD, according to a new study being presented at The British Thoracic Society’s Winter Meeting.
COPD is a smoking-related condition affecting nearly one million people across the UK. There is wide variation in the management and outcomes of this condition.
Evidence suggests many patients do not always receive important support and treatment to help them stop smoking, and also exercise and education through a pulmonary rehabilitation programme.
Furthermore there is an over-reliance on inhaled corticosteroids ICS in their treatment. This is despite ICS only being effective with a small number of patients and amid increasing concerns about their side-effects e.g. pneumonia and costs to the NHS.
Local data, published by Dr Patrick White in Lambeth found that 38 per cent of COPD patients were over-treated with ICS.
This led to a new study, developed by King’s Health Partners and Lambeth CCG, where the King’s Health Partners Integrated Respiratory Team ran respiratory virtual clinics with primary care teams across Lambeth.