Our workforce working group

The Taskforce’s workforce working group was established in 2020 to advance recommendations to tackle the respiratory workforce crisis and improve outcomes for patients.

We have a dedicated and talented respiratory workforce, but shortages exist across all roles within the multi-disciplinary teams on which good respiratory care relies. Combined with regional variations in staffing, health inequalities, and the disproportional rise in respiratory admissions, these factors have a significant impact on the standards of treatment and care for people with lung disease.

The impact of workforce shortages has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to delayed or inaccurate diagnosis, late test results, patchy access to treatment, and poor support at all stages.

The Taskforce is developing medium and longer-term suggestions to help ease the workforce crisis.

It is working to influence NHS England’s workforce strategy due out in 2023, by making pragmatic suggestions to better integrate care between GP surgeries and hospitals; utilise innovative support roles in primary care and properly staff implementation of a new diagnosis pathway for breathlessness.

The workforce working group is also developing a patient-focused vision of gold standard respiratory care that will outline the workforce needed to deliver this vision across health and social care. This will focus on integration across hospitals and GP surgeries, the development of innovative new roles and the co-creation of care pathways with patients. It will serve as the basis for activity to influence the ongoing work NHS England and the Department of Health and Social care are doing around this area.

This gold standard vision of care will be informed by a patient survey, co-created with our wide membership of patient representatives, carer representatives, professional bodies, voluntary organisations and industry partners.

You can find out more about who chairs the group on our About page.