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Breathless patients to help pilot scheme; SANDWELL.

Byline: By Tony Deeley

SANDWELL'S three pri mary care trusts have teamed up with the Met Office to pilot a new health forecasting service for thousands of people who suffer with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

COPD, whose symptoms include coughing and breathlessness, affects more than 5,000 people in Sandwell each year, and some have to be admitted to hospital during the winter.

The service was launched on Monday to tie in with today's World COPD Day Up to 70 patients from across Sandwell have been invited to take part in the pilot. They are given a specially developed pack, which includes information and room thermometers, and a goody bag donated by Savacentre, Cadbury Trebor Bassett and local traders.

Healthcare professionals have acknowledged the relationship between the weather and health for some time.

This has now been taken a stage further with the Met Office providing thepri-mary care trusts with advanced health warnings that take into account other factors such as virus levels and air pollution.

The pilot scheme will be delivered by the Respiratory Action Team in Sandwell, with management support from the PCTs' service development team. The Respiratory Action Team works with patients with long-term respiratory conditions to provide individual support and guidance in their own homes
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 17, 2005
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