Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICS launches digital pilot to support COPD patients in their own homes

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICS has launched a digital scheme designed to support patients with COPD in their own homes, with the Living Well with COPD pilot programme aiming to support remote monitoring of the condition alongside providing health coaching to improve education.

The programme utilises remote monitoring tech and specialist apps such as myCOPD and myHeart and runs on a tiered scheme based on the severity of the disease. Those with milder disease are encouraged to make use of apps to support their condition and patients with a higher risk of hospital admission are provided with equipment to enable digital monitoring from home, overseen by clinical staff and health coaches providing virtual support. The fourth tier is designed for people whose COPD means they are most at risk of deterioration and hospital admission, with specialist clinicians providing close monitoring via digital technology along with face-to-face interventions.

Anyone with a diagnosis of COPD and registered with a GP practice in the region can sign up by completing an online form, and practices are also reaching out to eligible patients.

Professor Sanjoy Shah, deputy chief medical officer at North Bristol NHS Trust and Clinical Lead for the Living Well with COPD programme, said that the pilot “aims to provide a solution” to the “large proportion” of COPD sufferers who are admitted to hospital, particularly around winter. Sanjoy noted the potential of the empowering patients “to take better control of their health through improved education on their condition and how to best manage it, as well as closer monitoring and the ability for specialist community clinicians to provide much earlier interventions.”

At a recent webinar for our live event series, HTN Now, we were joined by Rachel Woodington, digital care hub manager at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, and Ruben de Neef, customer success lead at Luscii, to discuss the virtual COPD service launched at the trust including benefits, challenges and key learnings.

In other news from the region, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICS has partnered with Faculty to introduce ‘intelligent care traffic control centres’ with an aim to view demand, capacity and predict future need across the ICS.