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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)


Minimum Referral Criteria

  • Category 1
    (appointment within 30 calendar days)
    • COPD with chronic respiratory failure
    • COPD with worsening right heart failure
  • Category 2
    (appointment within 90 calendar days)
    • Recurrent (>3 in 12 months) acute exacerbations or acute presentations to emergency
    • Uncontrolled but stable symptoms on daily basis that limit ADLs / Class 4 dyspnoea
    • Requiring assessment for oxygen therapy
    • COPD with demonstrated severe airflow obstruction (FEV1 <40%)
  • Category 3
    (appointment within 365 calendar days)
    • Stable COPD for consideration for pulmonary rehabilitation or education (where community services are not available)

1. Reason for request Indicate on the referral

  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention not otherwise accessible to the patient
  • For advice regarding management
  • To engage in an ongoing shared care approach between primary and secondary care
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)

2. Essential referral information Referral will be returned without this

  • Duration and severity of symptoms including impact on ADLs
  • Current and previous treatment and efficacy
  • Comorbidities
  • Smoking / occupational history
  • SaO2 or ABG (Essential if referral for Oxygen assessment)
  • Spirometry (if available)
  • CXR and CT chest (within last 12 months)

3. Additional referral information Useful for processing the referral

  • History of childhood/adolescent lung disease
  • SaO2 or ABG
  • Vaccination status
  • FBC, ELFT results
  • Respiratory function tests
  • Exercise oximetry

4. Request

Last updated: 13 June 2023