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Quality Diagnostic Spirometry

What is Spirometry?

Spirometry is the most commonly performed lung function test. By performing maximal inspiratory and expiratory manoeuvres through a mouthpiece, it provides us with basic information about a patient’s airways function and capacity.

It may be performed for a variety of reasons, including:

To detect the presence or absence of lung disease

To confirm the findings of other investigations

To quantify the extent of lung impairment

To investigate the effects of other diseases on lung function

To monitor the effects of environmental exposures

To determine the effects of medication interventions

Why Should I Attend an ARTP Spirometry Course, and become Accredited?

Most guidelines relating to respiratory disease (see below) indicate the performance of spirometry, and insist that those performing the measurement and interpreting the results have had appropriate training. The centres must also have rigorous calibration and quality assurance measures in place to ensure accurate measurements are being made.

What is Quality Assured Diagnostic Spirometry?

Spirometry must be performed to a high standard in order that we can accurately interpret the results and rely on repeated measurements to track any changes to the patient’s condition. The ARTP Spirometry Committee has produced a statement on what is 'Quality Assured Diagnostic Spirometry', which you can access via the link.

Statements:

The 12th September 2016 saw the launch of a competency assessment framework ‘Quality Assured Spirometry’. This document sets the minimum competency standards for practitioners performing spirometry. The ARTP spirometry qualifications are now the recognised competency assessment qualifications for all practitioners performing spirometry. The ARTP will also be responsible for holding the national register of spirometry accredited practitioners at all levels. The document can be accessed via the link http://www.pcc-cic.org.uk/news/improving-quality-diagnostic-spirometry-adults. The framework will be phased in commencing 1st April 2017 with full implementation by 31st March 2021.

This document has been brought about by a collaboration between ARTP, Education for Health, ARNS, Asthma UK, BLF, BTS and PCRS and has been endorsed by NHS England.

This is a really important day for Respiratory Physiology and the ARTP as we continue to promote quality standards in the measurement of spirometry. We are looking to further support this initiative with additional spirometry education resources such as the soon to be published Spirometry Handbook and online educational resources.

Joanna Shakespeare
Chair ARTP Education



ARTP Standards welcomes the publication of the competency framework for diagnostic spirometry in adults, which is a direct result of the All Parliamentary Group (APPG) Report on Premature Mortality from Respiratory Disease (2014). The document looks to implement many of the recommendations of the APPG, which includes a common curriculum, quality training, and assessment of healthcare professionals against defined standards and the creation of a national register.

ARTP Standards endorses this initiative which contributes to quality assured, accurate spirometry performed to a national standard that ultimately aid accurate diagnosis of respiratory disease.

Ian Cliff
Chair ARTP Standards


Relevant Guidelines

NICE Clinical Guideline 101: Management of COPD in Adults in Primary and Secondary Care; June 2010.

BTS/SIGN 141: British Guideline on the management of Asthma: A national clinical guideline; October 2014. 

The British Thoracic Society in collaboration with the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Irish Thoracic Society. Interstitial lung disease guideline. Thorax 2008;63;v1-v58.

NICE Clinical Guideline CG163. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: The diagnosis and management of suspected idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

 

 

 

Why Should I Become Accredited?

Most guidelines relating to respiratory disease indicate the performance of spirometry, and insist that those performing the measurement and interpreting the results have had appropriate training. The centres must also have rigorous calibration and quality assurance measures in place to ensure accurate measurements are being made.

Useful Links

Primary Care Comissioning (Improving the Quality of Diagnostic Spirometry in Adults)

IMPRESS (IMProving and Integrating RESpiratory Services in the NHS)

Primary Care Respiratory Journal

Commissioning Toolkit for Respiratory Services (UK)

 

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