Two collaborative projects between local NHS bodies and pharmaceutical companies that are helping patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) received awards at the annual dinner of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry this week.


​The awards were presented to INFORCE, joint working project between NHS Nottingham City primary care trust, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and five pharmaceutical companies, and a collaboration between StHealth PBC consortium - the largest PBC group within NHS Halton and St Helens - and GlaxoSmithKline.

INFORCE was designed to cut the number of people admitted to hospital with exacerbation of COPD by understanding how their care has been undertaken and making changes to improve it. It was equally funded by all partners, which included the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Nycomed and Pfizer.

“INFORCE has been fundamental in the development of a strategy throughout the whole of the primary care trust for improving the management of COPD and reducing the number of people who need to be admitted to hospital,” said Jan Balmer, who has been helping to lead the project. “The scheme has been recognised nationally by the Department of Health respiratory policy team as an example of good practice and features as a case study from which it is hoped other PCTs will learn.

“Winning this award is a tribute to the far-sightedness and hard work that has gone into helping people with COPD, and is an excellent example of how the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry can co-operate successfully to provide better services for patients.”

The Halton and St Helens project was designed to improve the treatment and care of people with COPD by training health care professionals to manage patients in the community while making better use of existing resources, slowing the progress of the condition and reducing the number of unplanned hospital attendances.

“We are very proud of the achievements made through this collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline,” said Andrea Gupta, Registered General Nurse and Business Manager at the StHealth PBC Consortium. “The scheme has brought benefits to patients and to all those taking part in a disease area which has been of considerable concern to the NHS in this area.

Presenting the awards, ABPI Director General Dr Richard Barker said: “The UK-based pharmaceutical industry is working together with the NHS throughout the country on a whole variety of projects, and the success of these projects is a tremendous example of the power of this approach.”

For further information, please contact the ABPI press office: 020 7747 1410.

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