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East of England Respiratory Programme

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do we need a national screening programme for COPD?

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HAVE YOUR SAY: Do we need a national screening programme for COPD?

The UK National Screening Committee is consulting on whether there should be a national screening programme for COPD after an expert review recommended there was not the evidence for national screening. The consultation closes on 26 July 2013.

The case for a national screening programme for is being considered by he UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) as part of its 3-year cycle of reviewing areas for screening. After each review the UKNSC makes a recommendation to the 4 countries of the UK as to which screening programmes should be implemented.

A 32-page expert review for the UKNSC by Sally Cartwright came to the conclusion that there was no case for having a national screening programme for COPD.
The key reasons for this conclusion were:
  • No RCTs have been conducted on screening for COPD
  • The evidence on outcomes of treatments and interventions for early stage COPD are still limited
  • The evidence regarding whether spirometry prompts people to quit smoking is inconclusive
  • Challenges still exist with the test options for a population-wide screening programme
  • Current prevention activity including the national COPD and tobacco strategies are yet to be fully implemented
  • Cost-effective evidence does exist for case-finding symptomatic individuals with more developed COPD and this should continue

Download Sally Cartwright's expert review on screening for COPD

The UKNSC is now seeking public feedback on the case for a national screening programme for COPD.

Details of the consultation, how to respond and the UKNSC process can be found at screening.nhs.uk/copd

Responses should be emailed to screening.evidence@nhs.net by 26 July 2013