Our chief executive

Dr Penny Woods is our chief executive.

Penny Woods chief executive British Lung Foundation

Penny qualified as a doctor in 1987 and has an MA from Cambridge University and MBA from INSEAD.

She has many years’ experience in the healthcare sector working as a management consultant for clients including governments, multi-national companies, NHS organisations and private healthcare providers. She spent seven years in a number of senior roles at BTG plc, and before joining the BLF she was chief executive of the Picker Institute Europe.

Penny is passionate about working on behalf of patients, from personal and family experience of COPD, asthma, obstructive sleep apnoea and motor neurone disease.

You can follow Penny on Twitter at @blfpenny, or read some of her contributions to media stories on lung health below.

Dr Penny Woods in the media

New cars face tougher emissions tests in bid to stop manufacturers falsifying results
The Independent, 31 August 2017
"The new real-world emission tests are essential in the fight to combat toxic air and protect all our lung health. This will end the inconsistency between lab emissions and real-world testing and ensure manufacturers can't cheat the test."
Managing a respiratory condition
Open Access Government, blog, 26 July 2017
"Lung disease is taking a huge financial toll on our health service, businesses, and society. Governments and NHS in both England and Scotland must take action. We are now leading an independent taskforce for respiratory health to improve outcomes for patients and the nation’s lung health."
Teen and pregnant smokers face Government crackdown under drastic new plans to slash rates as experts predict the 'end is in sight' for cigarettes
Daily Mail, 18 July 2017
"It's great news that this plan has finally been published. A strong strategy with ambitious targeted action is vital to achieve a continued decline in smoking rates, and to set us on a path towards a smoke-free future. It's very encouraging to see the government has introduced ambitious targets to reduce rates, particularly among young adults and the most vulnerable groups in our society.

UK SMOG ALERT: Britain to be engulfed for 48 HOURS in baking pollution bubble - temps rise
The Express, 20 June 2017
"For people with a lung condition, high ozone levels can make breathing difficult, causing wheezing and coughing."

Smoking rate in UK falls to second-lowest in Europe
The Guardian, 15 June 2017
"People who quit live longer and feel better, no matter their age. However we must not be complacent. Smoking is still the UK’s biggest cause of early preventable death. Approximately 100,000 people die needlessly from smoking-related diseases every year in our hospitals – it’s time to tackle the human and financial cost the tobacco industry creates."
British Lung Foundation and National Clean Air Day
Global Action Plan, blog, 30 May 2017
"National Clean Air Day coincides with our own Breathe Easy Week (12-16 June). Breathe Easy support groups, all over the UK, will be showcasing the range of activities they do. They’ll be supporting the British Lung Foundation’s call for a new, fair and ambitious Clean Air Act."