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One year on: launch of the Taskforce Plan

In December 2018 we went to parliament to launch the Taskforce’s five year plan.

People with lung disease gathered together with members of parliament, health care professionals and many others to discuss improving our nation’s lung health.

Our speakers included Jay Dowle, who spoke of the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on his life and stressed the importance of increasing public awareness and understanding of lung disease.

Penny Woods, then Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, talked about the plan and set out its main recommendations.

James Brokenshire MP was treated for lung cancer in 2018. He talked about how important it was to get diagnosis right, so that everyone got the treatment they need. He said there was often a stigma attached to lung disease that acted as a barrier to access to appropriate help and support.

The journalist Robert Peston talked about losing his wife, Sian Busby, to lung cancer. He focussed on the need to ensure people received the right diagnosis when they first have symptoms. He also talked about environmental causes of poor lung health.

Professor Gina Radford, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, set out some of the measures the government was implementing to improve support for people with lung disease and talked about the inclusion of lung health in the NHS Long Term Plan.

We are delighted the Taskforce Plan has since gained the backing of around 65 members of parliament and 8 peers. It has also been discussed in a Lords debate led by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath in July 2019.

“It’s vital that we shout about lung disease as much as possible in parliament. It simply must become more of a priority for decision-makers. I know that the Taskforce will be pushing for its recommendations to be put into action. And I’ll continue to do what I can to support the Taskforce in parliament so that people living with a lung condition and their families get the care they need.”

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath