Improving access to specialist care and smoking cessation support are among the actions that can better COPD patient care, according to a national report from the UK.

Published by the Royal College of Physicians, the National COPD Audit describes the care of 13,414 patients admitted to hospital for their COPD between 1 February and 31 April 2014.

The report found that despite some improvements, standards of care continue to vary widely across England and Wales.

In particular it finds that while respiratory specialists often provide better evidence-based care, access to specialists varies widely. For example, nearly half of patients were discharged within 3 days, many of whom had no contact with respiratory specialists. Furthermore, 20% of patients were not seen by a respiratory expert at all during their stay.

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