Respiratory services - information for GPs

Respiratory services - information for GPs

Across the CCG area as a whole, emergency hospital admissions related to COPD and asthma are decreasing but there is still more work we can do to support patients in some localities to manage their condition better, and help reduce the number of unnecessary hospital visits still further. 

Guidance and training

  • GOLD slides
    Dr Martyn Davies, GP at Dolphin House Surgery and respiratory lead for the Upper Lea Valley locality gave a presentation on the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), at the recent practice nurses conference. His presentation slides can be viewed here.
  • Spirometer training – how to access it <<need info here>>

Right Breathe app

RightBreathe is an app designed by NHS doctors and pharmacists to help patients and clinicians with prescribing and using inhalers. Available now for iOS and Android.

Link to case studies and technical information

PCRS guidelines

The Primary Care Respiratory Society – an organisation which promotes best practice in managing breathing conditions has produced clinical guidance and supporting resources to help GPs and nurses in primary care to look after patients with respiratory illnesses. You can access this guidance here and also join the society if you wish to become a member.

Have your patients with a respiratory condition got an exacerbation plan? Are they using it?

You can download a copy of our COPD self-management tool for patients here.


End of life

If you have a patient requiring specialist palliative care to help them control their symptoms or to provide social, psychological, spiritual and support for the patient and family, you can refer them to either Isabel Hospice or Garden House Hospice.

To follow: information about preferred priorities for care.

Pathways and referral information

Please click here to find respiratory pathways.

Hertfordshire respiratory services

Pulmonary rehab
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a course of exercise and education for people with a long-term lung condition.  It’s designed for people who are severely breathless. The pulmonary rehab multidisciplinary team contains physiotherapists, nurses and occupational therapists.   Sessions run in clinic locations in Bishop’s Stortford, Letchworth, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Hertford and Cheshunt. Refer your patient here (scroll to ‘making a referral’ section).

Integrated Community Respiratory Service
The Integrated Community Respiratory Service is a new service delivered jointly by East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust. Six Respiratory Specialist Practitioners cover most of east and north Hertfordshire supported by a Respiratory Practitioner and admin staff.

We look after respiratory patients with complex needs – helping to plan their care. We also support patients that have been admitted to hospital and need additional help when they go home. We assess people who might need oxygen at home and also provide education in primary and community services.

Patients we’ve looked after in the past can also refer themselves back to us for further support if they feel that their symptoms are escalating. This helps patients avoid having to be admitted to hospital if it can be avoided.

Patients who have been referred to the community respiratory service have benefitted from personalised support to help them manage their condition. These real examples from the service show the difference good support can make to a person living with a lung condition.

Refer a patient to the ICRS by using this form.


Respiratory clinical advice by email

The ENHT Respiratory consultants run an email clinical advice service which is available throughout the week to practice respiratory leads – both GPs and Practice Nurses. You can contact the respiratory consultants with any respiratory queries and expect a response within 48 hours (they aim to respond within 24 hours).

Please use the following email address:

Please note that this service is for clinical advice not for information about appointments.


Useful links

Primary Care Respiratory Society UK

Is your practice providing excellent care for respiratory patients? Apply for the PCRS excellence award here


Inhaler technique

Millions of people in the UK have breathing difficulties but many do not use their inhalers effectively, potentially putting their lives at risk. Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is tackling this problem with its ‘Breathe with ease’ campaign urging inhaler users to get their technique checked.

It is normal to get out of breath when you have over-exerted yourself, but when breathlessness comes on suddenly and unexpectedly, it is usually a warning sign of a medical condition.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.


Bronchiectasis is a long-term condition where the airways of the lungs become abnormally widened, leading to a build-up of excess mucus that can make the lungs more vulnerable to infection.


Asthma is a common long-term condition that can cause coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness. The severity of these symptoms varies from person to person. Asthma can be controlled well in most people most of the time, although some people may have more persistent problems.

Lung Disease

Lung disease affects more than 12 million people across the UK. The British Lung Foundation is leading the fight against lung disease to make sure no one has to face it alone The British Lung Foundation

  • BLF Helpline: 03000 030 555
  • BreatheEasy Solihull
  • BreatheEasy support groups: First Tuesday of the month, 2-4 pm, at West Midlands Bridge Club, Marion Murtagh House, 909 Warwick Road, Solihull B91 3EP.
  • BreatheEasy monthly newsletter: Gasper’s Gazette

Last modified: 

10 Jan 2018