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Patient passports ‘drive up’ quality of COPD care, research finds

The use of ‘patient passports’ which provide a list of standards for COPD treatment has helped improve patient care, GP researchers have found.

A survey of 117 GP patients who used the passports, which carry a checklist of standards that patients can ensure their doctors are providing, revealed they were a ‘powerful motivator for improvement’, the GPs reported at a poster session at the annual International Primary Care Respiratory Group conference in Athens.

The passports, which were introduced in 2012 by the NHS north-west respiratory team, describe ‘7 Steps to Best COPD Care’ and the COPD patients were asked about whether the care they had received matched up to the seven steps.

In all, the results showed high performance on most of the key processes, according to the researchers led by Dr Stephen Gaduzo, a GP in Stockport and chair of the UK Primary Care Respiratory Society.

Some 98% of patients said they had had their diagnosis confirmed by quality assured spirometry, 97% said their medicines and inhaler technique had been reviewed and 91% had received an annual, structured review with their GP or practice nurse.

In addition, 86% said they had received support to manage their COPD, while 64% had received smoking cessation support, 61% had undergone pulmonary rehabilitation and just over half – 53% – had been given a written action plan.

The team concluded: ‘Easily understood patient held standards are a useful way of driving up quality of care.’


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