National COPD Audit Programme: pulmonary rehabilitation workstream 2015

Produced by:

The 2015 round of data collection for this workstream, part of the National COPD Audit Programme, involved the time-limited data collection relating to service provision and delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) services for COPD in England and Wales.

What we did

Data collection for the pulmonary rehabilitation audit 2015 was held between January and July 2015. Reports were published in:

Thank you to all those who submitted data for the audits. Of the 230 PR programmes identified in the run up to the audit, 224 took part in the organisational audit. For the clinical audit nearly 7,500 records were submitted by 211 programmes, which we believe made this the largest dataset for a PR audit worldwide by some margin. This was a fantastic achievement which we hope will prove to be hugely insightful as a tool for driving improvements in care.

Pulmonary rehabilitation service mapping

The workstream team identified 230 separate PR services, delivered by 158 different provider organisations. The majority of services were provided by NHS trusts and health boards, but providers also included charities, community interest companies and private providers.

A full list of the pulmonary rehabilitation services identified for this audit is available on the audit resources page.

Workstream timeline

  • until December 2014: mapping and recruitment of audit sites in England and Wales
  • mid-January 2015 until mid-July 2015: data collection period
  • mid-July 2015 until mid-October 2015: data analysis
  • late September 2015: organisational audit site-level (unit) reports to participants
  • 18 November 2015: publication of national organisational audit report
  • late November 2015: clinical audit site-level (unit) reports to participants
  • 11 February 2016: publication of national clinical audit report.

Data processing

All data collected by the audit programme was processed to ensure patient confidentiality was maintained.

This audit operated under a consent model; this means that patients were required to provide informed consent prior to their data being collected and processed (to see the consent form and patient information sheet, please go to the ‘resources’ section of our website, by clicking here).

Identifiable patient data was entered into an online data collection tool via the British Thoracic Society’s (BTS) audit system. Data was collected between 12 January and 10 April 2015. Once the data collection period ended, patient-level identifiable data was sent from the BTS to NHS Digital who anonymised the data before sending it to the RCP in an anonymised format for analysis and reporting. The national clinical report (Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Steps to breathe better) using this data was published in February 2016. Only aggregate data (at a national level) was presented and no information was released that could be used to identify individuals.

The next stage in this process will be to link the audit information (collected in the method outlined above) with data already held by NHS Digital; namely Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) dataset and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) mortality data.  HES is a record of all hospital admissions in England, while ONS mortality data is sourced from civil registration data.  NHS Digital (as the organisation that anonymised the pulmonary rehabilitation audit data for use by the RCP) hold identifiable data for the audit participants. NHS Digital, therefore, will use NHS number, date of birth, postcode and gender to link the audit data to these sources.  Once the data has been linked, the RCP will receive anonymised patient level records for the patients in their cohort from both HES and ONS (cause of death, and month and year of death will be provided to the RCP from ONS mortality data).

These data (ie audit data linked to HES and ONS) will be used to produce a supplement to the national clinical report (Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Steps to breathe better). Only aggregate data (at a national level) will be presented and no information will be released that could be used to identify individuals.

If you consented to your data being collected in the 2015 pulmonary rehabilitation audit and wish to revoke your consent, please contact NHS Digital on enquiries@nhsdigital.nhs.uk

For more information on the programme's data flows please read the patient leaflet on the audit resources page.

Who's involved

Organisations