COPD project in focus for Lung Health Awareness

Photo of program participants engaged in physical activities including exercise bike and free weights.May was Lung Health Awareness Month, presenting an opportunity to reflect on some of the work undertaken to improve lung health across the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.

Locally, the PHN is working with Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS), the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation and Lung Foundation Australia on the COPD project, which is supported by funding from the Queensland Health Integrated Care Innovation Fund.

The project has been extended until October 2018 and continues to work with practices in offering education and training to support the early identification of COPD.

Another aspect of the project is improving timely access and uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive program, which includes components of patient education and exercise therapy. It is recognised as one of the most effective ways to improve outcomes for patients with COPD or other chronic lung conditions.

The project has made the following inroads in regards to pulmonary rehabilitation:

Satellite programs show success

The project has coordinated satellite pulmonary rehabilitation programs across the region, including seven free MNHHS programs, some of which are currently in progress.Four people standing in front of Lung Foundation banner

Patients have been offered places on the satellite programs regardless of which MNHHS pulmonary rehabilitation program they were originally referred to. The programs have achieved an impressive 75 per cent completion rate and the clinical outcome measures show significant improvements in function and quality of life.

Trial targets area of need

To support patients to receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time, the pulmonary rehabilitation team has designed a pulmonary rehabilitation trial based on Bribie Island, an identified area of need.

This initiative aims to trial an alternative delivery modality to meet specific community needs.

Single point of referral

GPs in the area can now refer to the Complex Chronic Disease Team (CCDT - North Lakes), the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and satellite pulmonary rehabilitation programs through a single point of referral under the Community Indigenous and Subacute Services (CISS) specialists’ lists using practice software.

Detailed information about pulmonary rehabilitation and referral criteria can be found in the resource section of the Respiratory and Thoracic Medicine page, under Refer your patient, see: service/refer-your-patient/respiratorythoracic-medicine.

Hear more about the ICIF COPD project

The ICIF COPD project will be one of many joint initiatives on show at the 2018 Metro North Health Forum on Tuesday 19 June 2018. To hear more, attend the session: "A breath of fresh air: an integrated approach to COPD management" as part of our "Connecting in new ways" stream.

Photo 1 Caption: Brighton Pulmonary Rehab: Fred Bryant (far right) pictured with other participants (first left) Viviana Solomon, (second left) Daphne Johns and (fourth left) Fay Henley is one of many locals getting their lives back on track thanks to a very special Pulmonary Rehabilitation program being delivered by (third left) CISS Clinical Nurse Louisa Hammerslag and (fifth left) Senior Physiotherapist Bek Barry.

Photo 2 Caption: Amie Horwood, ICIF COPD Project Co-ordinator, Brisbane North PHN, Susan Marshall, Judy Powell, Partnerships Manager, Lung Foundation Australia and Sharon Hodby, ICIF COPD Principal Project Officer, Metro North Hospital and Health Service).