Spirometry Coordination Services

We’re improving access to community-based spirometry as part of our Long-Term Conditions Programme.

Spirometry is recommended to diagnose abnormalities in lung volumes and airflow. It is the gold standard test for diagnosis and monitoring of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. It is important for accurate diagnosis and ongoing treatment plans.

In 2020, publicly funded community spirometry services ceased due to COVID-19, changes to contracts for services and discrepancies in general practice provision. This led to a backlog of referrals. Where spirometry services were being provided in the community, these were not publicly funded, this cost barrier led to inequities in obtaining a diagnosis, and ultimately receiving optimal care.

The purpose of this project is to stand up a spirometry coordination service to increase investigation across the rohe. The spirometry coordination services aim for 90% of spirometry events to take place in general practice. It will achieve this through training and accreditation, equipment loans, and access to additional funding streams to general practice. The service will support a primary care network of spirometry providers across Te Tai Tokerau and creation of GP2GP referral pathways. In the meantime, whilst general practice capacity and capability continues to grow,  Mahitahi Hauora coordinate referrals to an external private provider.

The spirometry pathway addresses the backlog of spirometry referrals in Northland due to COVID-19, while investing in spirometry services within general practice. A kaimanaaki/administrator supports engagement and follow-up. Funding has also been made available for all practices providing spirometry in-house through the Long Term Conditions fund, for patients that meet the criteria.

Spirometry Resources

Spirometry information and resources for patients and health professionals.