Our ambition for respiratory disease
The NHS Long Term Plan set outs the ambitions for the NHS over the next 10 years, identifying respiratory disease as a clinical priority. It outlines out how we will be targeting investment to improve treatment and support for people with respiratory disease, with an ambition to transform our outcomes to equal, or better, our international counterparts.
About respiratory disease
- Respiratory disease affects one in five people and is the third biggest cause of death in England (after cancer and cardiovascular disease). Lung cancer, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the biggest causes of death.
- Hospital admissions for lung disease have risen over the past seven years at three times the rate of all admissions generally.
- Respiratory diseases are a major factor in winter pressures faced by the NHS; most respiratory admissions are non-elective and during the winter period these double in number.
- The annual economic burden of asthma and COPD on the NHS in the UK is estimated as £3 billion and £1.9 billion respectively. In total, all lung conditions (including lung cancer) directly cost the NHS in the UK £11billion annually.
- Incidence and mortality rates from respiratory disease are higher in disadvantaged groups and areas of social deprivation, with the gap widening and leading to worse health outcomes. The most deprived communities have a higher incidence of smoking rates, exposure to higher levels of air pollution, poor housing conditions and exposure to occupational hazards.
Our work on respiratory disease
A new programme has been set up to improve the treatment and support of people with respiratory disease and deliver the commitments outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan. We aim to:
- Enable early and accurate diagnosis of respiratory diseases, by supporting the training of staff to deliver tests such as spirometry.
- Expand pulmonary rehabilitation services across the country so that patients who would benefit complete treatment in a good quality service.
- Improve appropriate prescribing of medicines and the way they are reviewed, and support patients to use their inhalers properly
- Design and develop tools and programmes that will support patients to manage their condition themselves and receive personalised care
- Improve the treatment and care of people who present with community-acquired pneumonia
How we are working with partners
Our national respiratory programme is developing a clear approach, in partnership with our partners, to improve outcomes for people with respiratory disease and meet the Long Term Plan ambitions.
We are working with the British Lung Foundation, British Thoracic Society, Asthma UK, Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS), NHS RightCare, Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) other arm’s length bodies (ALBs) and voluntary sector organisations to deliver a national programme of work.
We are also working with The Taskforce for Lung Health which aims to prevent more people from developing lung disease and to transform the care of people living with lung disease. The Taskforce is a collaboration of influential voices in UK lung health and it has created a five year plan which overlaps and supports some of the ambitions outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.
- The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) at NHS England and Improvement, working with the AHSN Network, is rolling out FeNO testing to help improve the diagnosis of asthma. As part of this roll out, Wessex AHSN has produced an extensive online resource area to help implement FeNO testing locally.
- UCLPartners have designed a series of resources to help clinicians deliver their care for patients with cardiovascular and respiratory conditions in a world where a lot of care is delivered virtually. Resources are now available for asthma and COPD.
- The Association For Respiratory Technology And Physiology (ARTP) has published COVID-19 Infection Control Issues for Lung Function. This document summarises the information, evidence and guidance for infection control relevant to lung function testing services in patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- NICE resources to support local partnerships to provide consistent, high-quality care, based on evidence.
- Public Health England’s (PHE) second Atlas of variation in risk factors and healthcare for respiratory disease in England presents advice to support local areas to tackle the key issues in respiratory care outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.
- Case study – Improving access and coordination to palliative care for patients with end stage respiratory disease, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Compton Care
- Asthma UK action plans are available for professionals to download. The Asthma UK website also contains a wealth of other resources to help patients manage their asthma.
- The British Thoracic Society’s learning hub hosts information and access to e-learning modules for healthcare professionals.
- The Breath Test from the British Lung Foundation enables you to take a breath test online and can help you see whether you should be checked out by a health professional. It only takes about 5 minutes, and it’s completely confidential.
- GIRFT: planning increased seasonal respiratory illness guide sets out clear recommendations to help acute trusts and community services reduce admissions and support early discharge for patients with respiratory conditions.
- The NHS RightCare COPD pathway defines the core components of an optimal service for people with COPD.
- NHS Business Service Authority have produced a respiratory dashboard for prescribing which aims to highlight the variation in prescribing across the CCGs in England.
- Respiratory Futures is a digital platform co-ordinating the latest information and good practice from a range of sources.
- The Royal College of Physicians National Asthma and COPD Audit Programme aims to improve the quality of care, services and clinical outcomes for patients with asthma (adults; children and young people) and COPD.
- nhs.uk is a public facing website that provides information on a wide range of conditions and treatments, including respiratory conditions.
If you would like any more information on the respiratory programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.