INFORCE (Industry and Nottingham NHS Focus on Reducing COPD Exacerbations) is a collaboration between Nottingham City Primary Care Trust (PCT), Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the pharmaceutical industry. The project aims to further improve care for patients with COPD, and ultimately reduce the number of unplanned admissions to hospital.
COPD is an umbrella term for conditions that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma, that cause airway obstruction making breathing difficult.
It is estimated that there are 3.7 million people in the UK with COPD, and every year there are around 140 COPD related deaths in Nottingham city alone. There are up to 1,000 admissions to hospitals in the city each year with a primary diagnosis of COPD, many of which are actually multiple admissions of the same patients.
INFORCE will aim to reduce the number of patients who are admitted to hospital with an exacerbation of COPD. The project team will review the treatment of people who were admitted during a certain period to identify common factors that may have led to their hospitalisation, in order to understand if there are any improvements that can be made to current treatment guidelines and service provision. The project will also help people with COPD manage their condition more effectively at home and ultimately reduce the need for emergency admissions to hospital.
Shirley Smith, Assistant Director of Commissioning – Community Services at Nottingham City PCT said: “We believe this project can really make a difference to people with COPD. By reviewing what currently happens to patients with the condition, we can make relevant changes to further develop and improve the treatment and service we provide. This will help us make sure patients get the best available care, and where possible help them avoid hospitalisation altogether.”
INFORCE is part of the PCT’s wider programme of activities to address COPD management and reduce health inequalities – in the city’s most deprived areas, death rates for COPD are over six times higher and hospital admission rates are five times higher than in the most affluent areas.
The project will run for two years until December 2009 and includes four phases. These include the analysis of the treatment of patients with COPD admitted to Nottingham University Hospitals sites from November 2007 to May 2008, by looking at medical records and through direct discussions with patients. Patients will be invited to take part in this project by letter or contact from a specialist respiratory nurse. The information gathered in this process will then be used to help identify where potential improvements can be made to care and treatment. These changes will then be implemented and their effectiveness evaluated.
Dr Jonathan Corne, Consultant Physician at Nottingham University Hospitals said: ”This is an excellent scheme which cuts across organisational boundaries to provide better care for patients. I am confident the outcomes of this scheme will help us to improve care of people with COPD and reduce the number of unnecessary admissions to hospital.”
INFORCE is jointly and equally funded by Nottingham City PCT and the pharmaceutical industry (five pharmaceutical companies working alongside the ABPI under the auspices of the ABPI NHS Outreach Programme). It is the second such collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, following the successful partnering that devised the Happy Hearts CVD Risk Management project currently underway in the city.
Jan Balmer, Regional Facilitator for the ABPI said: “We are delighted to once again be working in partnership with Nottingham City PCT on such an important project. We all have a shared interest in improving people’s health and reducing their need for hospital treatment. “The pharmaceutical industry is committed to working with the NHS throughout the UK to identify and develop similar opportunities where we can benefit patients by sharing our skills, experience and resources with the NHS.”
Issued by: Nottingham City Primary Care Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
For further information or interviews, please contact:
Julie Scarle, Communications Officer
Nottingham University Hospitals
Phone: 0115 924 9924