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9 August 2018
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Task Force for Lung Health

Why do we lag behind Europe in services for lung health? The Task Force for lung health aim to make a change.

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Why do we need a Task Force?

Currently lung health is perhaps not viewed as seriously as other medical conditions. 1 in 5 people In the UK have been diagnosed with lung disease. It accounts for 700,000 hospital admissions every year and, here in the UK we have the 4th highest mortality rate in Europe. This is why the British Lung Foundation are bringing together the most influential voices in UK lung health. Their vision is for better services for everyone affected by lung disease, to prevent more people from developing lung disease, and to transform the care of people living with lung disease.

Their objective

The Taskforce for Lung Health has been set up to develop a 5-year plan for improving lung health in England. In the words of Dr Penny Woods - Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation - “This is the first time that the lung health community has come together to produce a plan to bring about the transformation that we desperately need. The scale of the task facing us is bigger than what any single organisation can hope to achieve alone.”

Which is why the Taskforce comprises 25 members, including patient representatives, health care professionals, the voluntary sector, professional associations and an Industries Forum. All of which will work alongside the Taskforce. Taskforce members will include Asthma UK, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation as well as professional bodies such as the the British Thoracic Society and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. That's not all however and you can see the full and very extensive list by clicking here.

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A unified voice

The Taskforce plan to bring together a unified voice of patients, carers and health professionals and to drive change for improving lung health in England. Independent of government, the objective of the Taskforce is to develop a 5-year plan which is endorsed by the whole respiratory community. The plan will look at prevention, diagnosis, treatment and medicines, living with a lung disease and end-of-life care as well as coming up with recommendations about each topic.

Their aim is a single plan that brings together recommendations for improving lung health across all services, and for that the plan to be supported by the government and implemented by all relevant bodies, including NHS England, Public Health England and local authorities.

You too can be involved

There are 3 people already representing those living with a lung condition on the Taskforce, plus the British Lung Foundation will be using its network of Breathe Easy support groups, as well as its other channels for speaking to people with lung disease. Other Taskforce member organisations who represent and work with patients, including Asthma UK, Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Roy Castle Lung Foundation will do the same. Asking you to share your experience and gather your views of lung disease and the services available.

The Taskforce also aims to raise public awareness and understanding of lung health. Once they know what the changes are that they want to see, they will need your help to push for action, making sure that the decision-makers act to improve outcomes for lung patients.

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Coming together

More representatives than ever before, from across the respiratory community, are teaming up to understand how to improve lung health. That’s different to anything that has existed before. It’s an an exciting collaboration of the largest ever group of organisations and individuals who have come together to improve lung health. The intended 5-year plan will look across all areas of lung health and will include the most up to date and available best practice evidence from across the UK. This has not previously been available in one place. In the words of Surayya Khan, patient representative, “My ambition is to see a more joined-up service for patients together with better advice, support and guidance for those with lung conditions. It is refreshing to see that Taskforce’s commitment to ensure that the patient voice is heard.”

The Taskforce is due to publish its findings and recommendations at the end of 2018. Why not take a minute and find out more here - https://www.blf.org.uk/taskforce/about

Photo credits: Leigh PatrickELEVATE

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