A plan to improve lung health right across England
We've come together to improve lung health in England. Read about our five year plan.
I’m Alison and head up communications, public affairs and policy at the British Lung Foundation. For almost a year, I’ve been co-chairing the Taskforce for Lung Health. We are a group of experts including people living with a lung condition, health care professionals, charities and professional organisations.
We’ve come together to improve lung health in England. We’ve have used our combined expertise to write a first-of-its-kind five year plan for preventing lung disease and improving lung health.
Lung health has been overlooked for decades
This marks the largest ever group of organisations and individuals who have come together to address this issue.
The work we’ve done is so important because lung health has been overlooked for decades. Many other disease areas, including heart disease, mental health and cancer, have benefited from funding and strategies to improve patient outcomes. Lung health has never been given the same level of attention, and so progress has lagged far behind where it should be.
Specific and achievable changes
Today, we’re launching our plan. It sets out specific and achievable policy changes which would make a real difference to people with lung disease. The plan covers how to stop people getting lung disease in the first place, as well as all of the steps people might go through, from diagnosis through to treatment, care, living with a lung disease, and end-of-life. The Taskforce has also recommended ways to make sure we have the right workforce in place to deliver the quality care lung disease patients deserve.
To help the 1 in 5 people living with a lung disease, we’ve highlighted the need for:
- Earlier and more accurate diagnosis of lung disease to improve survival rates
- A clear pathway for patients to follow to receive a diagnosis and to start treatment or agree a care plan, within the same timeframes currently offered to cancer patients
- General practice to pro-actively find people who may have COPD
- A lung cancer screening programme to try to identify people with lung cancer at an early stage
A roadmap for better treatment
This plan will bring together, in one place, a set of recommendations which the whole respiratory community supports. In this way, it’s a roadmap for better treatment, care, support and outcomes for lung disease patients, and a set of recommendations which all Taskforce members can campaign for.
The report was formed by looking at evidence from patients, health care professionals, researchers and other experts. The Taskforce then discussed which recommendations would have the biggest impact on patients, and these are what appear in the report.
This is an important moment for lung health in England. With this plan, we can improve the lives of everyone affected by lung disease.