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Primary Care Respiratory Update (PCRU)

Our members' magazine packed with useful features, clinical updates, educational updates, respiratory news and opinion.


This issue of PCRU introduces our latest pragmatic guide on severe asthma which guides you through this process ensuring the right patients end up in the right place with the right care.

Also in this edition, there has been a major shift in how COPD is assessed and classified announced by GOLD. Fiona Mosgrove takes you through the implications of these changes and for anybody writing or updating their local guidelines this will be invaluable reading.

Hear from Katherine Hickman, Chair of the PCRS Executive, who is this issue's Guest Editor and be sure to read the tributes to Katherine's predecessor, Carol Stonham.


This edition of PCRU features guest editor Nicola Strandring-Brown, a primary care nurse working in South Yorkshire and PCRS Committee Member.

We take a welcome look at the airway as a whole (yes, nose and all!) as Carol Stonham reminds us that while for some, allergic rhinitis is merely uncomfortable and inconvenient, for others it is the difference between well controlled lung disease and persistent problems and repeated hospital admissions throughout the summer season. She has written an excellent article reminding us of both the mechanisms by which allergic rhinitis occurs and how we can best support our asthma patients in managing these troublesome symptoms.


This edition of PCRU features the final editor's round up from Dr Iain Small, who has expertly lead our newsletter for many years.

Check out Katherine Hickman’s superb asthma building blocks – get those right and your asthma care would be unarguably better and more worthwhile. The piece dovetails beautifully with Frances Barrett’s item, which, for those of you, like me, who want to see the picture as well as the words, adds value to our learning process. Linked again (can you see what we did here) is Georgie Herskovits’ piece on asthma in schools.


Welcome to the Summer 2021 edition of Primary Care Respiratory Update. In this publication, and in keeping with the weather outside, we are providing a focus on climate, Global Warming, and the environment. The balance of good and potential harm that comes with the delivery of respiratory care to our patients is a precarious one. It would be tempting to think of the solution in simple, even polarised terms- ‘this inhaler good, this bad’, but as you will see from the three superb pieces we are publishing here, the situation is much more complex than that. Issues such as inhaler choice, prescribing and treatment strategies, manufacture and recycling, patient travel, access and parking, and the environment that surrounds healthcare settings are all important topics.


This 'Get Winter Wrapped' issue focuses on the twin challenges of winter pressures and coping with COVID-19.



Asthma Guidelines in Practice – A PCRS Consensus is a practical and pragmatic guide for healthcare professionals working in primary and intermediate care.  This guide was commissioned to provide clarity on aspects of diagnosis, management and monitoring of asthma that are uncertain due to differences between current national UK guidelines.


Key learning points:

• Taking a history, doing the examination, chest X-ray and spirometry are really important

• Look for red flags and refer these patients straight to secondary care.

• Do the basics which will point you towards the things you can do in primary care.

• If you are worried about patients at any stage or feel you haven’t got a clue – you can refer them to secondary care at any stage


This edition of PCRU has a flavour of 'out with the old and in with the new', as it is the last one in which we will feature Noel Baxter's thoughts and reflections from the Chair. His successor, Carol Stonham, is fast off the mark though with her superb and clinically invaluable consensus article on the use of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in clinical practice.

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