Spirometry is one of the main investigations used for diagnosing respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
Although it may appear to be a fairly simple test to perform, the ability to produce an accurate picture of volume versus time under forceful effort is dependent on many factors, both technical and patient-related. The interpretation of the results relies not only on the test performance and outcome but must be considered in the context of other clinical information. Given the intricacy of these factors, evidence suggests that there is significant misdiagnosis of respiratory disease and less than optimum or appropriate treatment for patients.
As a diagnostic test that may influence the eventual diagnosis and treatment that a patient receives, spirometry needs to be performed to recognised standards by competent professionals. Delayed diagnosis or wrong diagnosis, is a significant burden to the health economy as well as the quality of life and care for patients.
A scoping exercise has been carried out in Primary Care to ascertain the interest in clinicians carrying out spirometry education and training. Both levels of training was requested i.e. the two day programme and the half day course depending on competency levels.
Manchester Health and Care commissioning is therefore funding education sessions for spirometry.
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