Patients can breathe easier

Help on hand: Pharmacy care can help COPD patients
Help on hand: Pharmacy care can help COPD patients
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People suffering from breathing problems because of a lung condition can benefit from a new service being trialed at three pharmacies in the Preston area.

Healthy Outlook is a new service launched by The Co-operative Pharmacy and the Met Office in preparation for winter to try to reduce hospital admissions for people suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

COPD is used to describe conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, where people have difficulty breathing because of long-term damage to their lungs.

Poor weather conditions, such as extreme cold in winter, can exacerbate COPD symptoms and contribute to breathing difficulties.

Healthy Outlook is funded by the Department of Health National Innovation Fund and is being trialled at the Co-op pharmacy on Douglas Drive, Freckleton, near Preston and at the Co-op pharmcies on Market Square and Moor Street, Kirkham, near Preston.

The scheme will help those with COPD manage their condition and studies have shown that a 20 per cent reduction in admissions can be achieved.

Within the NHS Central Lancashire primary care trust area, there are more than 8,300 people on the COPD register and North Lancashire PCT has around 6,500 people on the register.

Jane Devenish, clinical services pharmacist at the Co-operative Pharmacy, said: “People with COPD can do a number of things to reduce the risk of their condition flaring up such as minimising exposure to cold air and making sure they don’t run out of medication.”