In July 2022, the Royal College of Physicians presented the results from an analysis of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) primary care data in Wales. The full report has been linked below. These results were taken from the third round of the Welsh primary care audit component of the National Asthma and COPD Audit Programme (NACAP). Data were supplied by 314 (80.7%) general practices in Wales, capturing activity up to 31 July 2021.
The audit collects data on the following outcomes:
- Diagnostic tests for COPD
- Diagnostic tests for Asthma (adults and children)
- Inhaler technique checks
- Referral to Pulmonary Rehabilitation
- Personalised Asthma Action Plan
- Checking secondhand smoke exposure
Since the previous audit in 2020, there has been very little change in the audit findings, which was expected because data representing healthcare during the COVID pandemic.
The number of patients with a new diagnosis of COPD who have had confirmatory post-bronchodilator spirometry has declined to 1.9%, which can be explained by the pause in spirometry services during this period.
Only 25% patients had access to a Personalised Asthma Action Plan (PAAP), which is recommended as part of routine asthma care.
Only one in four patients with Asthma and COPD have had their inhaler technique checked in the last year.
Some practical steps for Primary Care Teams
The NHS Wales Respiratory Self-Management Apps, which are freely accessible to patients in Wales with Asthma (adults, and parents/carers of children with Asthma) and COPD, are digital personalised asthma action plans (PAAP) and includes the inhaler technique demonstration videos specific to the patient’s inhalers. The recommendation of the apps to patients on your Asthma and COPD registers, thereby ensuring that your patients have a personalised asthma action plan and up-to-date inhaler technique guidance, will count towards quality improvement.
Linked below are some text templates that can be used to encourage your cohort of patients to download and make use of the app relevant to their condition.