Our Workforce Working Group

The Workforce working group was established in 2020 to ensure there is the appropriate medical staff in respiratory to optimal better patient care. You can read more about the past achievements of the Workforce working group here in Our Five Year on Report.

Without the workforce to deliver respiratory services we cannot provide the care that patients need. Respiratory healthcare professionals currently face immense challenges with respiratory services being understaffed and under-sourced.

 In 2023 the Government published the NHS England Long Term Workforce Plan, which sets out long-term strategic direction, outlining how the Government will expand the NHS workforce through training, retention, and reform. This plan includes respiratory care as a clinical priority, highlighting there is a growing population of people living with chronic respiratory disease.

The Workforce working group will focus on high-level policy goals, engaging with political stakeholders to improve the standards of treatment and care of people with lung conditions. Going forward the priorities of the Workforce working group will be:

  • To champion the patient voice and develop clear pragmatic asks for NHSE on how to improve the respiratory workforce in the short and medium term. We have a dedicated and talented respiratory workforce, but pressures on respiratory services remain high and there is a huge backlog of work.
  • To promote a patient-focused gold standard respiratory care with a focus on integration across hospital and GP surgeries, innovative new roles, and co-creation of care pathways with patients. To inform our patient-focused asks of the future of the respiratory workforce, we conducted a survey of patients with lung diseases in June 2023. You can read about this survey here.
  • To raise the profile of the specific challenges faced by the multi-disciplinary respiratory care workforce and the impact on patients as a result, with a focus on the problems encountered by respiratory not being seen as an important specialism in its own right. The multi-professional model is being challenged by changing patient demographics, workforce shortages, recruitment, and winter pressures. A priority of this working group will be ensuring that future workforce planning fosters professional collaboration so patients can receive care from appropriately skilled healthcare professionals.

The Workforce working group has a wide membership of patient representatives, professional bodies, patients, organisations, and industry partners. The group’s chairs can be found on our ‘About Us’ page.