COPD Proposed Pilot to Facilitate SelfCare in East Lancashire

Self-care for patients with COPD – Formal Proposal of the Pilot


An estimated 3 million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the UK. Most people are not diagnosed until they are in their fifties. However more people are being diagnosed with COPD at a younger age – from their late thirties to their early fifties. COPD is a condition that makes breathing difficult. COPD is a broad term that covers several lung conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It usually develops because of long-term damage to the lungs from breathing in a harmful substance (such as cigarette smoke or chemical fumes). The treatments available for COPD help people to breathe more easily, but they don’t repair the damage to the lungs.

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COPD Selfcare Proposal

We are knocking about with some ideas for a COPD self-care project. I would appreciate some feedback before getting the idea worked up in more detail. This is the more patient friendly version. The more formal proposal is here ;

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I am a GP ( family physician ) in Lancashire . I set up a weight loss challenge last year that was a pilot for combining health promotion with an element of competition to make it more fun, and try out some gamification concepts. I have been wondering what we could try next. COPD is another health issue that we are not short of in Lancashire.

COPD is a breathing disease that is much more likely to affect you if you smoke. It starts off as a mild irritating cough but can progress to life limiting dependence on piped oxygen. The only thing that stops the progress of the COPD is stopping smoking. Exercising more can help people with COPD regain some of their quality of life. The “pulmonary rehab” tends to be offered to the patients with more severe disease, once they have had a couple of hospital admissions for chest infections. The patients with more mild COPD may not realise that they have it – attributing their cough to their smoking habit. A special breathing test called spirometry is used to help diagnosis. It is available in many GP practices.

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