RCP to deliver new asthma and COPD audit programme across the UK

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) today announced its intent to deliver a new national clinical audit programme across England, Scotland and Wales that will improve the quality of care and outcomes for patients with asthma and COPD.

The new National Asthma and COPD Audit Programme (NACAP) has been commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) for the next 3–5 years, and will support improvement in care for patients in the UK who are receiving treatment for asthma and COPD. It will also add adult and paediatric asthma to the existing National COPD Audit Programme, which has consistently achieved outstanding levels of participation in NHS hospitals and pulmonary rehabilitation services, in England and Wales, and in Welsh general practice.

The RCP will work closely with professional bodies, royal colleges, patient charities and other stakeholders to develop the content and methodology for the programme, collecting data in near-real-time.

Professor Mike Roberts, senior clinical lead for NACAP, said: 

The RCP is very excited to start work on the new NACAP. Asthma and COPD patients and carers, as key members of the audit team, will set out the vision for a service that puts their needs first. This, combined with strong collaboration with healthcare teams across primary and secondary care, and pulmonary rehabilitation, is an opportunity to use patient power to drive up standards of care for the millions of people living with chronic lung conditions in England, Scotland and Wales.

Professor Mike Morgan, national clinical director for respiratory services in England, said: 

The new combined national audit for COPD and asthma gives us the opportunity for the first time to understand the relative impact of these two common long-term conditions across Great Britain. This will be linked to evidence-based quality improvement initiatives and activities providing opportunities to facilitate truly patient-centred care across the sectors.

Gillian Gunn, strategy planning and clinical priorities team leader, healthcare quality and improvement directorate, Scottish government, said:

Scotland welcomes the opportunity to be part of the National Asthma and COPD Audit Programme. We are delighted to announce that the Scottish government is supporting NHS Scotland’s participation in the programme, which we believe will be a valuable tool in improving the care and outcomes for people in Scotland living with asthma and COPD.

We look forward to working with the RCP in maximising engagement with the programme across Scotland.

Professor Chris Jones, deputy chief medical officer for Wales, said:

The audit programme is one of the key mechanisms available to the NHS in Wales to gain a system-wide understanding of the quality of care. It is an important opportunity to improve the quality and variability of care in future but can only be achieved through the engagement of the clinical community in Wales.

In the UK, approximately 9.2 million people are diagnosed with asthma or COPD, the two most common lung diseases in the UK. Annually, they account for 175,000 hospital admissions, 7.8 million consultations in primary care and in the region of £2 billion in direct healthcare costs.