Skip to main content

PCRS clinicians appointed to national respiratory audit role


Two senior PCRS members have been appointed to key roles with the National Asthma and COPD Audit Programme (NACAP) giving them an opportunity to influence improvements in asthma and COPD care.

Dr Katherine Hickman, PCRS Vice Chair elect, has been appointed Primary Care Lead and Dr Helen Ashdown, PCRS Research Lead, is joining NACAP’s Research Committee.

NACAP conducts continuous clinical audits in England Scotland and Wales of hospital admissions for asthma and COPD and pulmonary rehabilitation services.  It also carries out organisational audits of secondary care (asthma and COPD) and PR services.

Katherine will lead the primary care work stream of NACAP which collects audit data relating to asthma and COPD patient care and management from computerised primary care records. The audit is currently only conducted in Wales.

She said it was an honour to be appointed to this important role in the clinical audit of respiratory care which had the potential to improve patients’ experience and safety and raise standards of care: “The majority of clinicians want to do their best for their patients. They don't know, though, if they're doing their best unless they have some data to inform them about what they are doing well but also where there might be room for improvement. Data from audit can be used by busy clinicians to stop and think how they might do things differently and also by those at a higher level to drive system change.”

Dr Helen Ashdown was invited to take a place on the NACAP Research Committee because of her experience working both as a GP and as a clinical researcher working with electronic healthcare records spanning primary and secondary care.

“Data collected through the NACAP audit can be used in research studies that have the ultimate aim of improving patient care. The role of the NACAP Research Committee is to review requests for such data to ensure that projects are high quality and fulfil that aim.  The Committee also directs in broader terms the strategic direction of research work carried out as a result of NACAP and its audit findings.

“I’m looking forward to being part of a team improving the dissemination of this data and forming research partnerships for primary care respiratory research for the future,” she said.

Anyone interested in doing a project using NACAP data, can get in touch with NACAP at  to find out more.