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The guidelines will include information on the diagnosis, assessment and management of adults with COPD and guidance on the provision of rehabilitation and outreach services.
Speaking to the Medical Independent (MI), Prof Tim McDonnell said that an economic assessment, in consultation with the Health Research Board (HRB), on the guidelines is underway.
He advised that the guidelines contain a series of recommendations, which would have cost implications for the HSE and that the assessment is examining the economic cost of these.
“For instance, one of the recommendations relates to the greater availability of pulmonary rehabilition, as this is currently a huge lack in the system,” Prof McDonnell outlined.
Other developments with the programme are also planned, including the launch of a COPD patient information booklet and a patient COPD card with medical and clinical information for use when dealing with various health professionals.
To-date some 17 integrated nurses and physiotherapists specialising in the care of COPD patients have been appointed nationally under the programme.
Prof McDonnell also advised that the HSE COPD Model of Care is to be launched in the New Year.
Meanwhile, COPD Support Ireland has called on the country to join ‘talk COPD’, during COPD World Awareness Week.
The national charity for all those living with the disease has organised a week of events to help raise awareness and encourage people to start a conversation about the illness.
COPD affects around 380,000 people in Ireland, with an estimated 120,000 more undiagnosed