Western Locality: COPD



Including: COPD Self-Management Plan, Rescue packs and COPD information for the healthcare professionals


Support with quitting smoking

COPD Self-Management Plan

The aim of this Self-management plan is to help you have better control of your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It will enable you to monitor your symptoms and to know what to do if you have an exacerbation. An exacerbation is a time when COPD symptoms deteriorate for example you are more breathless or coughing more mucus than normal. If you do not have a self-management plan booklet you should discuss this with your practice COPD nurse.

Self-Management Plan

Rescue Packs

  • If you experience frequent exacerbations of COPD (a time when COPD symptoms deteriorate for example you are more breathless or coughing more mucus than normal) you may benefit from having a COPD Rescue Pack. This contains a supply of standby medications to start if your COPD deteriorates before you are able to see your GP. This means you can start treatment quickly.
  • If you experience frequent exacerbations but do not have a rescue pack you should discuss this with your COPD nurse.  
  • If you start your rescue pack, you must contact your GP or COPD nurse as soon as possible to inform them that you are less well and request a replacement pack for next time you need it.
COPD rescue pack: Amoxicillin COPD rescue pack: Doxycycline

Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR)

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation is a programme or exercise and education for people with a long-term lung condition
  • There’s evidence that it improves your ability to walk further, helps you feel less tired and breathless doing day-to-day activities and reduces your risk of ending up in hospital.
  • Completing a course of PR is a good way to learn how to exercise safely and at the right level for you.  Most people enjoy the course. It builds confidence and it’s great fun meeting others in a similar situation.
  • Ask your COPD nurse about pulmonary rehabilitation at your annual review.
  • See here for further information about PR

Annual Flu vaccination

  • People with COPD have a high risk of developing complications from influenza and are recommended to have annual influenza vaccinations 
  • Evidence shows that influenza vaccination in people with COPD reduces the risk for hospitalisation for pneumonia and death
  • Annual vaccinations are available September to February

Inhaler technique

  • Using your inhalers regularly and with the correct technique is an important way to help manage COPD symptoms.
  • There are many different types of inhalers and using them with the correct technique is important to ensure you get the most benefit from the inhalers
  • For further resources on inhaler technique see here
  • For patients you may want to consider an App for your iPhone or Android phone which shows you videos of correct inhaler technique and gives you reminders when it is time to take your inhalers.

Nutrition, exercise and healthy weight

  • If you have COPD, being active can help to improve your quality of life and help you manage your condition. Being active improves your wellbeing and confidence your ability to resist infections the strength of your breathing muscles, heart and circulation.
  • If you have COPD it is important to eat well and aim to stay a healthy weight. If you are overweight weight loss can help to reduce breathlessness.
  • One You Plymouth offers support for adults who want help with weight loss,
  • If you have unexplained weight loss you should discuss this with your GP promptly.
  • Link to 'One you Plymouth' leaflet for healthcare professionals 

Charity Support

COPD information for healthcare professionals

These downloads are for healthcare professionals:

  • Pharmacies: Information on how you can help patients with their rescue packs
  • GP': Leaflet on how to support your patients with their stand-by medication
Pharmacy Information GP Information

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