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On the spot tests for patients with suspected serious lung condition

18th November 2014 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

As part of the campaign, GPs from Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are talking to their patients about their lung health and asking them to take a three minute breath test if they show signs and symptoms of lung disease. The test will indicate there and then if someone is at risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is a term used for chronic bronchitis or emphysema, where the air sacs in the lungs are damaged. This causes the airways to become narrower, which makes it harder to breathe in and out.

The local campaign called ‘Breathe Better’ will see Leicester City CCG working with health partners to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of COPD as well encouraging anyone with concerns about their lung health to talk to their GP.

The initiative is launched in time for World COPD Day on Wednesday November 19, 2014, hosted by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD)*.

Professor Azhar Farooqi co-chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We have committed to reduce the numbers of people dying early in Leicester. COPD is the third biggest cause of death in the city and smoking is the biggest cause of COPD. We are tackling it now to prevent a bigger problem in the future.”

“By making more people aware of the signs and symptoms of the condition and by them talking to their GP, we can diagnose more patients currently living with lung disease but don’t know it. This means we can sit down with our patients, talk to them about their lifestyle, and put in place a plan to manage their condition so they can continue to carry out their day to day activities with the right support in place. They may need medication or lung exercises, whatever it is we are there to support them.”

Lung and breathing problems are a key contributor to early death in the city, and people in Leicester on average living shorter lives than in many other parts of the country. There are currently over 5,500 patients diagnosed on the COPD register in the city and it is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 more people could have the condition but have not yet been diagnosed.

That is why Leicester City CCG has named COPD as a high priority area in its commissioning strategy over the coming years and will be working to increase the numbers of people with a diagnosis, so tailored management plans can be put in place for these patients so they can live in the community, independently for longer, by having the skills and knowledge to manage their condition at home.

If you have concerns about your lung health ask your local surgery for advice or make an appointment to see your GP or practice nurse.

For more information visit the CCG website at http://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/my-health/leicesters-health-priorities/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/

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