Background: Chronic respiratory diseases are a major cause of mortality and morbidity, and represent a high chronic disease burden, which is expected to rise between now and 2020. Care for chronic diseases is increasingly located in community settings for reasons of efficiency and patient preference, though what services should be offered and where is contested. Our aim was to identify the key characteristics of a community-based service for chronic respiratory disease to help inform NHS commissioning decisions.
Methods: We used the Delphi method of consensus development. We derived components from Wagners Chronic Care Model (CCM), an evidence-based, multi-dimensional framework for improving chronic illness care. We used the linked Assessment of Chronic Illness Care to derive standards for each component. We established a purposeful panel of experts to form the Delphi group. This was multidisciplinary and included national and international experts in the field, as well as local health professionals involved in the delivery of respiratory services. Consensus was defined in terms of medians and means. Participants were able to propose new components in round one.
Results: Twenty-one experts were invited to participate, and 18 agreed to take part (85.7% response). Sixteen responded to the first round (88.9%), 14 to the second round (77.8%) and 13 to the third round (72.2%). The panel rated twelve of the original fifteen components of the CCM to be a high priority for community-based respiratory care model, with varying levels of consensus. Where consensus was achieved, there was agreement that the component should be delivered to an advanced standard. Four additional components were identified, all of which would be categorised as part of delivery system design.
Conclusions: This consensus development process confirmed the validity of the CCM as a basis for a community based respiratory care service and identified a small number of additional components. Our approach has the potential to be applied to service redesign for other chronic conditions.