The Oxford AHSN Respiratory Clinical Network operated from October 2016 – June 2017. It focused on improving healthcare in adults with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These are two of the most common respiratory conditions seen in primary and secondary care which result in much of the respiratory morbidity and mortality.
These chronic lung conditions are also ideally suited for a network as there will be rapid and much needed change in diagnostic and management algorithms. These can be a challenge to implement in order to provide the best evidence-based management.
The network planned to develop and implement pathways using personalised diagnostic algorithms and where possible utilise near-patient devices, both of which are essential for risk and treatment stratification of patients. Examples include the recent NICE guidance calling for exhaled nitric oxide in all patients presenting to primary care and the streamlined improvement in diagnosis and management of both asthma and COPD.
The network sought to understand and overcome these difficulties, including reducing hospital admissions, improved prescribing, development of algorithms as an aid to diagnosis and management and access to research for patients.