To outline the rationale behind and key components of integrated respiratory care.
To give an overview of different models of delivery of integrated respiratory care.
To explore the benefits to patients with chronic respiratory disease.
Summary Providing for the long-term needs of patients with chronic respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sets new challenges for healthcare organisations in terms of structure and funding. Integrated respiratory care is a holistic patient-centred approach to long-term conditions encompassing: disease prevention and promotion of lung health; early diagnosis; monitoring and education; coordination of hospital and community care; and implementation of evidence-based guidelines. Models of integrated respiratory care may vary depending on local resources and needs. Key aspects include nurse-led care nearer to or in the patients' home, self-management support, flexible healthcare design that suits patient needs, effective information sharing, and access to specialist care. These interventions have the potential to improve self-care and understanding of disease, reduce the need for scheduled and unscheduled consultations and length of stay, and enhance patients' health-related quality of life.