Transforming Spirometry Services in Greater Manchester

Spirometry, a vital diagnostic tool for respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, plays a pivotal role in improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted spirometry services in primary care across Greater Manchester, leading to a range of challenges and risks.

Client Profile

  • Client Name: Greater Manchester Strategic Clinical Network
  • Delegates:¬†Over 330 healthcare professionals across Greater Manchester

Challenges

The Greater Manchester Strategic Clinical Network identified several challenges arising from the disruption of spirometry services:

  1. Inaccurate Diagnosis: With a lack of spirometry testing, there was a risk of inaccurate diagnoses for respiratory conditions, potentially leading to inappropriate treatments.

  2. Inadequate Patient Reviews: Existing patients with respiratory conditions were at risk of not receiving adequate reviews, hindering their management and care.

  3. Pressure on Secondary Care: The absence of primary care spirometry put more pressure on secondary care services, causing delays in treatment for patients in need.

  4. Workforce De-skilling: The pandemic led to de-skilling of healthcare professionals in spirometry, creating a gap in essential services.

  5. Backlog of Patients: The interruption resulted in a backlog of patients awaiting spirometry tests, causing delays in their diagnosis and treatment.

  6. Missed Lifestyle Interventions: Opportunities for crucial lifestyle interventions like smoking cessation were missed.

  7. Delayed Treatments: Patients faced delays in receiving necessary treatments due to the lack of accurate diagnostic data.

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Solution

Respiratory Analytix, a leading provider of respiratory training and consultancy services, was commissioned to help address these challenges and restore the quality assured spirometry (QAS) testing across Greater Manchester.

Implementation

Between 2022 and 2023, Respiratory Analytix successfully provided face-to-face spirometry training to more than 330 healthcare professionals in the region. This training aimed to equip healthcare providers with the skills and knowledge required to perform spirometry tests accurately and consistently, including interpretation of results; although not all participants enrolled in this specific aspect of the course.

Results

The collaboration between the Greater Manchester Strategic Clinical Network and Respiratory Analytix yielded significant outcomes:

Improved Diagnostic Accuracy

The revival of spirometry services in primary care ensures more accurate diagnoses for respiratory conditions, leading to appropriate treatments.

Enhanced Patient Care

Patients with existing respiratory conditions now receive more comprehensive reviews and timely interventions, improving their overall care.

Relieved Pressure on Secondary Care

With primary care spirometry services functioning effectively, the burden on secondary care services has reduced, resulting in faster treatments.

Reskilled Workforce

Healthcare professionals have been reskilled in spirometry, enhancing their capabilities and maintaining essential services.

Reduced Patient Backlog

The expanded pool of trained staff has enhanced patient throughput, swiftly reducing the backlog for spirometry tests and shortening waiting times for diagnosis and treatment.

Promotion of Lifestyle Interventions

Opportunities for lifestyle interventions, such as smoking cessation, are being actively promoted and implemented.

Conclusion

In collaboration with Respiratory Analytix, candidates in Greater Manchester are now registering for ARTP spirometry certification, further reinforcing the commitment to quality assured spirometry in primary care. This ongoing effort aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of spirometry services, ultimately benefiting the health and well-being of the community in Greater Manchester.

Respiratory Analytix continues to be a valuable partner in the journey to transform and elevate spirometry services across the region, aligning with the vision of the NHS Long Term Plan and delivering improved healthcare outcomes for all.

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