Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the UK today. Four per cent of the population suffers from this disease and its prevalence increases with age: it rises to 8% in those over 65.
COPD affects individuals’ quality of life, leads to time off work and is a major contributor to pressure on hospital beds. COPD kills over 25,000 people a year. NICE has estimated that treatment of COPD costs the NHS over £600 million. However, if treatment were optimised there be less morbidity and patients would be more active and live longer. It would also achieve savings estimated at over £15 million.
The outcomes strategy for COPD published in 2011 clearly showed how optimal disease management can be achieved for patients from diagnosis to death. Unfortunately, this strategy has only been implemented in part and within all regions uptake has been patchy.