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Better care for all

Summary

Getting the right treatment can depend on where you live and whether the people offering you advice and treatment are well informed about the best ways of treating lung disease.

We want the best treatments to be available to all patients when they need them, wherever they live.

Better care for all

Best practice surgery

Best practice surgery
167
lung transplants in England (2016/17)
24%
people die or are removed from the list before a lung transplant
0.6%
potentially eligible patients are having lung volume reduction procedures every year

What's the issue?

Some people would benefit from a lung volume reduction procedure while others should be considered for a lung transplant. But many patients miss out.  

How do we solve it

  • We want all health professionals caring for people with lung disease to be aware of the benefits of lung volume reduction.  
  • We want ERAS – a treatment programme proven to reduce the risk of complications following lung surgery – to be used to help all people before and after their surgery.
  • We must identify every patient who would benefit from a lung transplant.

Our vision for the future

We’ll see more people with lung conditions having surgery and better able to live their lives.  

Our plan for improving access to surgery

“Since we adopted ERAS in 2010, the results have been impressive. There has been a reduction in postoperative complications and the length of hospital stay has halved.”

Tim Batchelor, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon, Bristol Royal Infirmary

Better care for all

The right medication

The right medication
75%
people with COPD use their inhaler devices incorrectly
50%
cystic fibrosis patients who died in 2017 were under 31

What's the issue?

We have medication to help people with lung disease manage their condition. But not all patients have access to the drugs they need. Medication is not always used correctly, from inhalers to oxygen at home.  

How do we solve it

  • We want everyone’s use of medication to be reviewed regularly, particularly inhalers for asthma and COPD.
  • We would like to see smart inhalers developed.
  • We need better access to antifibrotic drugs for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulators for cystic fibrosis and monoclonal antibody treatments for severe asthma.

Our vision for the future

We’ll see more people using the appropriate medication that helps them to best manage their condition.

Our plans for medication

“It is heart-breaking to know that a drug exists that could change Ivy’s life but she can’t have it. We wouldn’t accept it for other conditions.”

Gemma Weir, whose daughter Ivy has cystic fibrosis

Better care for all

Oxygen therapy

Oxygen therapy
1 in 3
patients prescribed oxygen therapy do not benefit from it

What's the issue?

Many people with lung disease need oxygen supplies at home and while on the go to help them breathe. But it is not available to all patients, and it is frequently misprescribed so patients don’t get the full benefit.

How do we solve it?

We want everyone diagnosed with a lung condition to be routinely assessed for whether they need oxygen at home or on the move, and if they do to be properly supported to use it. 

Our vision for the future

We’ll see all people who would benefit able to use oxygen at home or on the move to help them do the things they want to do

Our plan for oxygen

“Having a lung disease is extremely tiring and finding the energy to chase up or argue with an oxygen supplier is a challenge.”

Debra Barlow, living with pulmonary fibrosis

Better care for all

Emotional support and wellbeing

What's the issue?

There’s a strong link between respiratory illness and mental health problems. But mental health and emotional wellbeing is often not thought about when planning what support a patient needs.

How do we solve it?

  • We want mental health support or coaching to be offered to all patients and their carers.  
  • We want people with mental health problems, who are at greater risk of lung disease, to have equal access to care.

Our vision for the future

We’ll see mental health and emotional wellbeing given greater priority by health care professionals caring for people with lung disease and for all people with lung disease getting the support they need to manage their mental health

Our plan for emotional support and wellbeing

 “We should recognise the emotional toll that living with a lung disease can have on some people.”

Steve Holmes, GP
Image © Grainge Photography/RCGP