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COPD patients see benefit from winter early warning scheme

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A warning system that alerts COPD patients to wintry weather encouraged them to access treatments, according to a survey.

Cold weather is associated with worsening of COPD symptoms – so the Met Office has set up a UK-wide service that alerts patients if a spell of bad weather is on the way.

During last winter, the service went out to 8,134 patients from 189 GP practices across the UK.

A survey of more than 4,000 patients assessed the effectiveness of the service.

Of these, 95% received the call – and after receiving the call 11% consulted the doctor for worsening symptoms, 37% consulted their surgery for a repeat prescription and 28% took advice from an information pack.

Hospital admissions statistics also show a greater year on year reduction for those practices taking part in the scheme, compared with those that did not.

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