Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) prevalence across BNSSG (Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire) is rising, as it is across England. With lung disease in the UK costing a staggering £11 billion a year, Public Health England data shows that within BNSSG, emergency COPD admissions are within the highest 5% in the UK. To improve patient safety and reduce emergency admissions this project aims to rapidly adopt and use digital remote monitoring technology to support the growing challenges and costs associated with COPD.

What are we doing?

With the help of NHSX funding, the project aims to improve the lives of patients living with COPD within BNSSG by guiding them to self-manage their condition through the roll-out of the myCOPD app. The app helps people with COPD to manage their condition effectively at home, and thereby reduce the number of emergency healthcare visits they may need. MyCOPD allows for key aspects of disease management, such as medication reminders and pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), to be provided remotely, based on a person’s self-assessment. The app has been widely deployed across the NHS.

Through the project, myCOPD will initially be implemented into the North-West localities of BNSSG (North and West Bristol and South Gloucestershire). If this model proves successful, roll-out will be continued into Central, South, and East Bristol, and finally in the Weston area.

We aim to have recruited 215 actively engaged myCOPD users by March 2022.

How will we do it?

With the help of Digital Health Champions and Clinical Champions, we will roll out the use of myCOPD across BNSSG. Digital Health Champions will be responsible for enrolling patients that are referred from clinicians in primary, secondary and community care onto the app and providing additional coaching to patients who may benefit from additional support. Clinical Champions will be supporting Digital Health Champions to aid the delivery of care for the COPD Discharge Bundle and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Findings from previous attempts to implement myCOPD into local systems, which highlighted that administrative support is key to successful implementation and embedding of the app, have been considered in this roll out.

Who are we working with?

The West of England AHSN will be working collaboratively with Healthier Together (the Integrated Care System covering BNSSG) to deliver the project. The app has been developed by mymhealth and we will work alongside their team to ensure the app is operating effectively for users.

We have recruited Digital Health Champions and Clinical Champions from Sirona Care and Health, and North Bristol NHS Trust, and partners from community, primary and secondary care will work together to help spread and adopt the use of the myCOPD app.

A rapid qualitative evaluation exploring the benefits, barriers and perceptions of staff and patients around this model will be completed by the University of Bath by April 2022. A full evaluation will be completed by October 2022.

To find out more, please contact our Service and System Transformation team by email.

A focus on COPD as part of the National Adoption and Spread Safety Improvement Programme (A&S-SIP)

The overarching objective of the A&S-SIP is to identify and support the spread and adoption of effective and safe evidence-based interventions and practice.

Each of the programme’s objectives intend to make medical procedures, and discharges from acute settings, as safe as possible whilst driving forward healthcare innovation.

In relation to COPD, our local delivery has focused on supporting an increase in the proportion of patients in acute hospitals receiving every element (for which they are eligible) of the British Thoracic Society COPD discharge care bundle.

Read more about A&S-SIP.