COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a term that describes a number of conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which cause narrowing of the airways and difficulty breathing. Our specialist COPD service offers treatment and support to help patients to manage their conditions and ease their often distressing symptoms.
COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the UK. People with COPD develop breathlessness, mainly due to the narrowing of their airways. Typical symptoms of COPD include:
- Increasing breathlessness during activity
- A persistent cough with phlegm
- Frequent chest infections
COPD is mainly caused by smoking, which irritates and inflames the lungs, causing long term damage. Other causes of COPD include exposure to fumes and dust in the workplace, air pollution and genetic disorders.
We run a specialist COPD clinic offering diagnosis and management of COPD and providing an expert second opinion where needed. The service is Clinically led by Dr Richard Barraclough, with Professors Dave Singh and Professor Jorgen Vestbo leading on Research. We have a twice monthly Multi-Disciplinary Team Meeting, involving a range of health professionals, to identify patients suitable for the new minimally invasive techniques of lung volume reduction such as endobronchial valves.
Our team of allied health professionals runs a chronic disease management service providing extra support to COPD patients in the community, especially at times of worsening of their conditions, reducing the need for hospital admissions. We are working to achieve a seamless service and common standard of care across the city, providing access to rehabilitation and discharge support.
The ASPIRE team is made up of specialist respiratory nurses and respiratory physiotherapists. They provide care for patients and families affected by various respiratory conditions in hospital, clinics and in the home setting, offering advice on how to manage the respiratory condition and support to help patients cope with their conditions.
The team provide early supported discharge for selected patients admitted to hospital with various respiratory conditions and they also provide ongoing care for those with more complex needs. The team also run a community based clinic for GP’s to refer into and run a pulmonary rehabilitation programme providing breathing exercises and education about COPD management. There is support from Practice Nurses who perform spirometry. We are a first contact and surveillance service for South Manchester GP-registered patients with primary non-malignant (non-cancerous) respiratory conditions.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation – a breathing exercise and education outpatient programme taking place over eight weeks
- Lifestyle and education sessions
- Smoking cessation support and advice
- Education for anyone involved in caring for people with COPD and other respiratory conditions
- Support to health care services in the management of patients with COPD and other respiratory conditions, including support with early supported discharge and admission avoidance
Tests and treatment
It is important that COPD is diagnosed as early as possible so treatment can be used to try to slow down lung deterioration. COPD is usually diagnosed after a consultation with a GP, which may be followed by breathing tests.
The most important treatment for COPD is stopping smoking. Drug treatments for COPD usually involve relieving the symptoms with medication, for example by using an inhaler to make breathing easier. Pulmonary rehabilitation may also help increase the amount of exercise you are capable of doing. Surgery may be an option for a small number of people with COPD.
Simple steps such as living in a healthy way, being as active as possible, learning breathing techniques, and taking your medication, all help to reduce the symptoms of COPD.
We have a wide range of research projects ongoing, including the evaluation of new COPD treatments, and studying the reasons why COPD get can worse over time. There are opportunities for you to get involved with these projects.
You can learn about our leading research work, how this benefits patients, and how you can get involved, by visiting our research facility pages.
You can be referred to our service by your GP, who will usually carry out some initial tests to see if you have COPD.
Secretaries: 0161 291 2832
ASPIRE: All patients have a contact number to call upon if they develop any non-emergency problems regarding their chest condition: 0161 998 7070 (Air call ASPIRE) during service hours.
The COPD service is based at the North West Lung Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital and is located in the Yellow Zone, Entrance 4, off Southmoor Road.