​Living with COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the group name given to a number of lung diseases. These include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

If you have COPD it is important that you work with your NHS health professionals to keep healthy.

Quitting smoking

If you are currently a smoker, the most important thing you can do to slow the progression of your COPD is to stop smoking now. Smoking can cause your COPD to worsen more quickly than if you were to stop smoking.  You can find information on local services to help you stop smoking on our stop smoking page​.

There are a number of other things you can do to help avoid making your condition worse, such as having your flu vaccination every winter​ and taking your medication as prescribed. 

If you are worried about COPD, help and support is always available from your GP or practice nurse.

You can also speak to your GP or pharmacist if you need advice on stopping smoking or have any questions or concerns about your medication.

You can find out the facts about living with COPD on NHS Choices living with COPD page.​

Croydon Respiratory Team 

The Croydon Respiratory Team (CRT) is a team of specialist nurses and physiotherapists supported by a medical consultant who offer a number of comprehensive treatments, outpatient clinics and management programmes for patients with COPD. Their aim is to help people with COPD manage their disease more effectively and to remain well at home.

The services they run include community nurse/physiotherapist-led respiratory clinics for patients who need support to manage their condition or who experience regular flare ups of their lung disease.  These respiratory clinics are run at Croydon University Hospital, Parkway Clinic and Purley War Memorial Hospital.

Please speak to your GP if you feel you could benefit from attending a clinic.

The CRT also run a rapid access clinic (HOT clinic) to help people with COPD to avoid a hospital admission. 

People that are at risk of coming to A&E because their lung condition has suddenly worsened can be seen by a specialist at the clinic on the same day or next day (Monday to Friday).

Referral is via your GP, patients who are already under the care of the CRT can self-refer.​

Pulmonary rehabilitation programme

The Croydon Respiratory Team's pulmonary rehabilitation service runs a comprehensive programme to help people with lung disease to manage their condition and breathlessness more effectively. It is the most effective treatment for lung conditions and has been shown to significantly reduce shortness of breath, improve the ability to carry out activities of daily living and improve quality of life.

The programme consists of ten to 12 sessions (usually twice a week) for patients with chronic lung disease, usually COPD.

The sessions are run by a team of specialist respiratory physiotherapists who are supported by a variety of healthcare professionals.

Sessions are run in locations in Purley, South Norwood, Thornton Heath, New Addington and at Croydon University Hospital.​

If you would like to attend the pulmonary rehabilitation programme please speak to your GP or practice nurse. 

Further information about COPD

For more information about living with COPD go to the British Lung Foundation website.