Work prioritisation during COVID-19 epidemic based on RCGP/BMA guidance 23/3/2020

In relation to asthma and COPD, practices are advised to continue regardless of scale of pandemic:

Long-Term Conditions: reviews for those at higher risk should continue (do remotely wherever possible).

This includes:


  • ≥2 exacerbations in past 12m (Rx oral steroids/antibiotics)
  • Hospitalised in past 12m
  • On long-term oxygen therapy


  • ≥2 severe exacerbations in past 12m (needing oral steroids)
  • Hospitalised in past 12m
  • Ever been admitted to ITU
  • On oral maintenance steroids or biologics


National Services for Health Improvement (NSHI) Business Statement:

As a result of the Global Coronavirus outbreak, healthcare services worldwide are facing unprecedented demand on their resources. The UK government is issuing updated guidance often and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) issued a supporting document to their members on 11th March, 2020 stating:

“We expect employers, educationalists, professional bodies and national NHS organisations to be flexible in terms of their approach and the expectations of routine requirements. Health and care professional regulators, including the NMC have already committed to take into account factors relevant to the environment in which the professional is working.”


COVID-19 service support offering:

NSHI will be working with general practices to support them during these extraordinary times to ensure high quality care can be delivered to their asthma and/or COPD patients.

As a solution, during the COVID-19 outbreak, NSHI are able to offer to practices and patients the following services:

1. Video conferencing consultations carried out by a NSHI nurse advisor

2. Clinical telephone consultations carried out by a NSHI nurse advisor

3. Telephone triage of all or practice selected asthma/COPD patients from the practice’s disease registers conducted remotely from the practice by NSHI clinical and non-clinical staff.

The NSHI COVID-19 Interim Respiratory Service supports practices and patients to achieve these expectations.

The COVID-19 Interim Service is delivered by National Services for Health Improvement Ltd. This service has been funded by an arm’s length grant by Chiesi.