Let's get the government to take lung health seriously

Lung health needs to be a greater priority. Despite 1 in 5 of us having been diagnosed with a respiratory condition, and countless more affected through caring for loved ones, funding, awareness and outcomes lag far behind other major disease areas.

Despite some world leading treatments and dedicated staff, the UK still has one of the worst death rates from respiratory disease anywhere in the developed world. And the last flu season only shows how respiratory illness can intensify the wider pressures faced by the health service.

We have worked with colleagues across the respiratory sector who all agree that we need a new national plan for England, in line with the cancer and mental health strategies.

We know there are examples of good practice all across the country, from lung screening pilots to breathlessness clinics to COPD rapid response teams.

But if we’re going to drive the improvements that patients deserve, there’s more work to do. We have worked with colleagues across the respiratory sector who all agree we need a new national plan for England, in line with the cancer and mental health strategies.

We have brought together the first ever Taskforce for Lung Health to develop this plan. Made up of patients, professionals and charities, with input from industry, the Taskforce will consider all the best available evidence and set out a new, 5-year strategy to improve the nation’s lung health.

We’ll mobilise patients, professionals and the public to make the case to the government and to NHS England that respiratory health affects us all. They need to take it more seriously.

The Taskforce has issued a call for evidence looking at prevention, diagnosis, treatment and medicines, management, and end of life.

We want to hear from a wide range of experts about changes to health care policy and services we can recommend. We’re determined to give lung health the attention it deserves.


Penny Woods talks about the Battle for Breath

Penny Woods

Penny is the CEO of the British Lung Foundation, which holds the secretariat for the Taskforce.

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30 April 2018