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  • General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:31
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    NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
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Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a man asthma inhaler imageJanuary 22 2018

An updated respiratory health plan for Wales has been published, taking forward the strategy for the next three years.

The document looks at approaches to prevention (through vaccination and stop smoking schemes), improving earlier diagnoses for a range of respiratory diseases and conditions, and also to reduce variation in prescribing.

The document notes that since the strategy was first drawn up in 2014, health boards have all committed to:

  • appointing a flu jab champion;
  • ensuring carbon monoxide monitoring and referral is routine for smokers attending a respiratory outpatient appointment;
  • offering patients and parents asthma action plans for better self-care;
  • improve access to exercise-based programmes for people with chronic respiratory conditions.

The report notes that one in 12 people in Wales has a respiratory condition, and Wales has the highest prevalence of asthma in Europe. However, Wales is ahead of its target for reducing smoking prevalence; 19% of the population were smokers in 2016, below the 20% target set by the Welsh Government.

Simon Barry, Clinical lead, Respiratory Health Implementation Group, said: “There is considerable work to be done on improving the diagnosis of asthma and COPD. For example, a national audit has shown that more than 25% of patients on COPD registers may not have the condition. As a result, considerable effort has been invested in providing quality assured spirometry training and standard equipment across Wales.”

Among the initiatives proposed in the updated strategy are to explore using health care professionals such as community pharmacists or smoking cessation counsellors to perform spirometry in patients at risk of COPD. “The COPD work-stream does not support the use of formal screening programmes as there is no evidence at present that they alter outcome.”

Announcing the updated strategy, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: “Improving the respiratory health of the people of Wales is a major challenge for healthcare services. With this plan, we hope to improve the quality of life for many patients with acute or chronic respiratory diseases. This plan will support health boards to provide more consistent services across Wales and to deliver services reaching national standards of care for respiratory disease.”

Links:
Welsh Government announcement      
Welsh Government ‘Respiratory Health Delivery Plan 2018-2020 Reducing inappropriate variation and sharing best practice’ January 2018            

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