A huge step forward for people with COPD
Sarah is on our policy team. As part of her job, she's been working with NICE to help update the guidelines for treating COPD. Here's how the guidelines have changed.
NICE, or the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, make decisions on the best way to deal with different health conditions. That means everything, from diagnosis and what tests should be done, to what treatments should be available.
So if you live with COPD, what NICE says will have a real impact on you.
A new guideline for COPD
In mid-August, NICE published a draft updated guideline for treating COPD. The guideline was worked on by a group of patients and doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.
I was there as well, to make sure that the views of the people with lung conditions we support at the British Lung Foundation were represented.
It’s important to say that only part of the guideline was updated. Lots of it will stay the same, so it won’t affect your treatment. For example, the section on pulmonary rehabilitation is really important, but it wasn’t part of the update.
What has changed
One of the things that has changed is the way that oxygen is prescribed. They have also changed the guidelines on the order you're offered different inhalers, and the way you might be assessed for lung surgery. This is because there was new evidence that showed how to do these things more effectively.
Everyone with COPD should have a written self-management plan to help them live well.
But there's there is one change we think is the most important: the guideline now says everyone with COPD should have a written self-management plan to help them live well and manage their condition.
It says that everyone's COPD plan should be tailored for them. That might include advice on exercise or activities, information about support groups like our Breathe Easy groups, help to quit smoking, or advice on what to do if you have a flare-up.
It's great news
This is a huge step forward.
We already produce our COPD Patient Passport and our COPD self-management plan to help people manage their condition, but it’s great news that in future, health professionals will be responsible for making sure that everyone has their own plan.
This is a huge step forward.
The next step is for NICE to consult on the guideline, then the final version will be published by the end of the year. If you have any feedback or comments you can let us know by emailing [email protected], and we will pass it on to NICE for you.
We’re hoping this will be a step forward for people with COPD.
Managing COPD flare-ups
A flare-up – sometimes called an exacerbation – is when your symptoms become particularly severe.
What we do
One person in five in the UK is affected by lung disease. Millions more are at risk. We’re here for every one of them.