New service for COPD sufferers

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A dedicated team of respiratory nurses is to carry out annual reviews for housebound patients in Angus who are living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

COPD is an umbrella term describing a number of respiratory conditions, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and lung damage caused by chronic asthma.

From the start of February, the respiratory specialist team, based at Arbroath Infirmary, will take over from community nurses who previously carried out annual reviews for some patients, across Angus.

Many of the housebound COPD patients are already well-known to the respiratory specialist service, so it is hoped that this move will reduce duplication and provide a sustainable long term service model.

The COPD housebound service was introduced to ensure that patients who were housebound had access to the same care as those who could attend their general practice for review.

Over the last 10 years, a high level of service has been developed for people living with COPD in Angus, with an increase in specialist resources to support this.

The specialist nurses already support education of the wider healthcare teams, delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation, specialist support at times of diagnosis and flare-up of COPD, and work closely with the local COPD peer support groups.

It is estimated that 2.25 per cent of the Angus population live with a confirmed diagnosis of COPD, and it is thought that many more are affected but are as yet undiagnosed.

Numbers affected have increased steadily over the last 10 years in Angus.

Although a long term condition with no cure, there is a lot people living with COPD can do to live as well as possible and reduce symptoms of their condition.