Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive and disabling condition that limits airflow in the lungs1 and is leading cause of potentially preventable hospitalisations in the Nepean Blue Mountains region2.
We coordinate or commission the following local services to support COPD management:
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Service in the Hawkesbury
Through Hawkesbury District Health Service, we co-designed and fund the new Chronic Airways Limitation Management (CALM) pulmonary rehabilitation program. CALM is designed for anyone with a lung disease who has difficulty breathing and finds day-to-day activities getting harder, it is provided by a physiotherapist, specialist nurse and an assistant within Hawkesbury Community Health Services. The aims of CALM are to:
- increase a patient's strength and the distance you can walk
- increase a patient's quality of life
- increase a patient's confidence and ability to cope
- keep a patient out of hospital.
In a twice a week 8 week group program, CALM provides:
- a supervised personal exercise program to improve a patient's fitness and ability to do day-to-day activities
- education sessions to help with symptom management
- peer support and social interaction
- access to an ongoing exercise group (Lungs in Action which is also funded by the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network and runs out of Hawkesbury Community Health Services).
GPs or respiratory specialist can refer patients to this program using the CALM referral form. For more information about the program please contact Physiotherapist Anna Bishop on 4560 5714.
Lungs in Action Exercise Class
We fund the Lungs in Action Exercise Group in the Hawkesbury, which is a safe exercise class for people with stable chronic lung conditions. The group meets on Tuesday mornings 11am to 12pm, and Wednesday mornings 9am to 10am, at the Community Health Centre, Hawkesbury Hospital.
Classes are suitable for people using supplemental oxygen and / or walking frames. There are seated options for every exercise.
The classes are run by Rebecca, who is specially trained in exercising people with lung disease and heart failure. Contact Rebecca on 0404 871 484.
Lungs in Action is an initiative developed by Lung Foundation Australia.
Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network (NBMPHN) and the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) have agreed to the formation of a COPD Collaborative in order to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of people living with COPD.
Over the next 9 months NBMPHN will be working together with the Improvement Foundation, who provide practical support and guidance in the use of a ‘Collaborative’ approach, methodology and principles. The COPD Collaborative has been informed and will be supported by representatives from local general practices, the NBMLHD, non-government and government organisations, including NSW Ambulance and the Lung Foundation Australia, as well as local COPD patient support groups.
NBMLHD Respiratory Outreach Service
The NBMLHD Integrated Care Respiratory Service is a new initiative to assist and enhance the care provided to patients with COPD. The service includes a multidisciplinary respiratory team with a Respiratory Physician, Advanced Trainee, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Social Worker and Physiotherapist available to support GPs. The service is initiated for patients through discharge from hospital and direct referrals from GPs.
Before the service is launched, we are seeking GPs to trial the service to test important features. If you are interested, please contact Primary Care and Community Health via email or on 0408 524 571.
NBMLHD has a flyer available for this service.
Facts About COPD
With 1 in 20 Australians aged 45 years and over living with COPD, early diagnosis and optimal management of this disease during early stages can lead to:
- Better quality of life,
- Decreased disease progression and mortality, and
- Reduced hospital admissions
A diagnosis of COPD should be considered in patients over 35 years of age who are a current or ex-smoker3. Patients may also display the following symptoms:
- Cough, and
- Sputum production4
To confirm a diagnosis of COPD, spirometry is required5.
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2014); Australia’s Health; Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - Australian Government.
2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Web report [Online]. Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/contents/copd
3. Wentworth Healthcare Limited 2016/2017 Needs Assessment. Kingswood, Australia; 2017. 46 p. [cited 2017 May 1]. Available from: http://www.nbmphn.com.au/Resources/About/130_0217-Needs-Assessment-A4_FINAL_WEB.aspx
6. http://goldcopd.org/global-strategy-diagnosis-management-prevention-copd-2016/ - p.10