Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

The aim of the Northern ICP respiratory group is to develop an integrated model of care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, incorporating early diagnosis, enhanced community-based management and improved end of life care.

UK figures estimate that 50-70% COPD is undiagnosed with 30% cases only diagnosed at the time of a hospital admission. Many already have severe disease at the time of diagnosis. Conversely 25% of those with a diagnosis are wrongly diagnosed.

The rate of decline of lung function is faster in the early stages of the disease but is more amenable to treatment so early diagnosis and evidence based treatment is essential.

To further these aims an education package suitable for all primary care practitioners, GPs, practice nurses, community pharmacists, community respiratory team practitioners, has been developed.

ECHO sessions are one of three components of this education package. By telementoring and case discussion, ECHO will enhance the knowledge and skill in primary care, helping to improve patient management and referrals patterns.


Hub Facilitators

Carole McGrath

Carole McGrath BSc (Hons), SRN, Independent Nurse Prescriber, Specialist Nurse in General Practice, Nurse Practitioner, RSF Spirometry Trainer, Diplomas in HE in Asthma, COPD, AF, Diabetes, CHD, Full ARPT course in Spirometry . 

Carole has worked in General Practice since 1991 initially as a practice nurse, then since 1997 as a nurse practitioner and developed a particular interest in respiratory disease and spirometry. Carole was a regional trainer for The National Respiratory Training Centre in Warwick for 7 years delivering courses on asthma, COPD and spirometry and has been an associate lecturer with QUB and teacher/ practitioner with UU. Carole remains dedicated to ensuring the competency of spirometry in General Practice in NI.

Carole is primary care member of the NI RSF committee and a member of the spirometry RSF sub-group committee. 

She currently is a partner in Barrett & McGrath Healthcare Solutions Consultancy Ltd offering bespoke education to Primary Care and community health care professionals and is currently one of the Project Managers for the NICP LES project. 

Frances Barrett

BSc Hons Respiratory, RGN, Long Term Conditions Diplomas, RSF Spirometry Trainer, Level 4 teaching certificate, CPR, Defibrillation and first aid at work trainer.

Frances has accrued almost 30 years’ experience across the Primary Care sector – having worked initially as a long term conditions’ nurse specialist in General Practice for over 15 years, then as the community based pulmonary rehabilitation lead for the Southern (Board) Trust,  in 2004 she took up the respiratory support to medicine  role with GSK and just in the last year has set up a private training company – Barrett & McGrath Healthcare Solutions Consultancy Ltd offering bespoke education, training, facilitation and mentorship to General Practice and beyond.

Frances is currently one of the two Project Managers for the NICP project.

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Dr Carol Dalzell – ICP GP Lead 

Dr Carol Dalzell has been a practising GP for 24 years. She is originally from Co Armagh, and currently works in Coagh Medical Centre, a rural, deprived practice on the Western shores of Lough Neagh.

Carol holds a Masters Diploma in Respiratory Medicine, and her notable areas of specific expertise and interest are in making the patient journey better and respiratory disease. 

Stephen Slaine – ICP Pharmacist Lead

Qualified as a pharmacist in 1986, Stephen worked for fifteen years with Connors Chemists Ltd, ten years of which were in a senior management position.  Since 2002, he has been an Independent Community Pharmacist based in McCloys Chemists, Kilrea which serves a large rural community.

Stephen is President of the Ulster Chemists Association, a non-profit making trade body representing its members’ interests. He is also Director in Albapharm Ltd, a business support organisation based in Aberdeen, which provides service support for the independent pharmacy sector and has members in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

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Programme details

This programme will begin on 16th November 2016, providing information on the following topics.


16 Nov – Diagnosis and early COPD

29 Nov – Management of Exacerbations

6 Dec – When and who to refer 

12 Jan – Pharmacological Management of COPD

26 Jan – Inhalers and Devices

8 Feb – Key Patient Information

23 Feb – Physiotherapy and Respiratory Rehab

8 Mar – LTOT / NIV

28 Mar – Palliation