People who have an exacerbation or worsening of their chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be safely cared for in ‘hospital at home’ schemes or discharged from hospital more quickly if they are rated as low risk on a clinical scoring system called DECAF. Patients preferred to be cared for at home rather than being admitted to hospital and care was as safe as hospital and probably cheaper.

This means people with COPD who are assessed in emergency departments or admission units as being low risk can safely be discharged if a suitable home care service is available. There is a growing body of evidence in this area, and this trial adds weight to an integrated care approach that encourages care in the community wherever possible.

Professor Sarah Purdy, Head of School, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol

People with COPD exacerbations prefer early discharge then treatment at home. – National Institute for Health Research