Respiratory diseases affect one in five people and are the third biggest cause of death in England (after cancer and heart disease). Lung cancer, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the biggest causes of death. Hospital admissions for lung disease have risen over the past seven years at three times the rate of all general admissions, and the number of people admitted to hospital with respiratory disease doubles during the winter period, putting increased pressures on the NHS.
The annual cost of asthma and COPD to the NHS in the UK is estimated as £3 billion and £1.9 billion, and in total, all lung conditions (including lung cancer) directly cost the NHS in the UK £11 billion annually. Death rates from respiratory disease are higher in disadvantaged groups and areas of social deprivation, with the gap widening and leading to worse health outcomes. Our priorities are therefore:
- Development of a diagnostic spirometry service across County Durham, either to be delivered by County Durham & Darlington Foundation Trust (CDDFT) alone or with support from Primary Care Networks (PCNs). The new service will start on 1st April 2022.
- Continue to meet the needs of people who have had COVID-19 through Personalised Care approaches.
- Provide virtual group intervention sessions that will give information and guidance to help people manage their Long COVID. This is a course of seven sessions and covers different elements of Long COVID including:
- What is Long COVID?
- Fatigue management for Long COVID
- Living with Long COVID
- Negotiating brain fog
- Altered breathing patterns for Long COVID
- Diet & nutrition
- Dealing with setbacks
COVID Virtual Ward
- Explore extending the COVID Virtual Ward which was implemented across County Durham and Darlington during the pandemic for COVID 19 patients. This service treats patients in their home rather than them being admitted to hospital. The treatment that they receive in their own homes includes monitoring of their respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and routine bloods.
- Apply population health management and personalised care approaches to improve health outcomes and address health inequalities.
- Design a new Diagnostic Spirometry service that includes testing patients with suspected COPD and suspected asthma.
- Re-start the County Durham Diagnostic Spirometry Service to assess and test the patients without a confirmed COPD diagnosis waiting for diagnostic spirometry testing.
- Expand the COVID Virtual Ward to support some patients with COPD, asthma and pneumonia.
- Continue to develop and expand the Long COVID service across County Durham and Darlington by recruiting more staff to provide more clinics and group sessions to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of people being referred into the service.
- Further develop the respiratory service across hospital, primary care and community services in order to expand the Virtual Ward initially established for COVID-19 patients.
- Provide improved services and outcomes for respiratory disease.
- Help people to 'live well with' Long COVID with self-management.
- Reduce waiting lists of people waiting for a Long COVID clinic appointment.
- Reduce the number of people who are wrongly diagnosed with COPD and asthma.
- Provide an integrated approach to developing and delivering services which involves communities, voluntary organisations and the health and social care system.
- Reduce avoidable hospital admissions and shorten the length of stay.
- Reduce emergency admissions to hospital.
- Reduce the risk of hospital acquired infections for vulnerable patients and improve patient experience if they are cared for in their own home.
Find out more about this subject in the related Objectives, Goals, Initiatives and Metrics (OGIM) document on Durham County Council’s Committee Services website under the Heath and Wellbeing Board meeting agenda item for 24 November 2021.
We are keen to hear your views on the content of the plan, including our priorities and the measures we have identified to understand if we are making a difference. Please complete the form below, to provide your views and comments, and these will be passed to the person responsible for this chapter.