COPD National report 2018: Pulmonary rehabilitation, an exercise in improvement

Reports Published: Author: HQIP

This report outlines summary findings of the second round of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) component of the National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Audit Programme, which comprises snapshot audits of:

  • the resources and organisation of PR services across England and Wales conducted between 3 January and 28 April 2017
  • the process and clinical outcomes of treatment in patients with COPD assessed for PR between 3 January and 31 March 2017

The report summarises key findings, mapped to the appropriate 2014 British Thoracic Society 9BTS) Quality Standard (QS) where relevant, and priorities for quality improvement presented under three broad categories:

  • access to PR
  • quality of PR services
  • outcomes of treatment

The audit reiterates the successes of PR services in England and Wales in delivering considerable health benefits such as improvements in exercise performance and health status, for patients who complete treatment. It also highlights some key successes;

  • rates of completion have improved marginally to 62% in 2017 compared with 59% reported in 2015
  • improvements in the provision of written discharge exercise plans (84% in 2017 versus 65% in 2015),
  • the assessment of muscle strength (27% in 2017 versus 15% in 2015) and
  • in the numbers of programmes with a written standard operating procedure (84% in 2017 versus 67% in 2015).

However, the findings also highlight the need for improvement in care delivery and outcomes. Therefore, in this report we recommend actions that PR services, primary care and hospital teams and system leaders should take to address these needs. We also identify three national quality improvement targets relating to waiting times for PR, conduct of exercise assessments and completion rates.

To download the full report click on the link below