The Taskforce For Lung Health’s Parliamentary Relaunch

13 February 2024

The Taskforce for Lung Health held a parliamentary relaunch in Westminster to celebrate the coalition’s remarkable success over the last 5 years. MPs, patient representatives, industry representatives and healthcare professionals came together to discuss how we can transform the care of people with living lung disease. Thank you to everyone who helped with planning the event and pitched in on the day.

Andrea Leadsom MP, the Minister for Public Health, Start for Life and Primary Care, outlined the Government’s ambitions to ensure that “wealth should never determine health.”  In her speech, the Minister hailed Taskforce’s work to ensure respiratory illness stands at the heart of the Government and NHS Strategy, with chronic lung diseases included as one of the six health conditions in the Government’s Major Conditions Strategy.

The Minister paid tribute to the work of the Taskforce, highlighting the impact of the Breathlessness Pathway on the lives of people with respiratory conditions. The Taskforce’s played a critical role in developing this pathway, providing a clear roadmap for physicians to support timely diagnosis.

She also spoke of how the Government is committed to ensuring that people with respiratory conditions can access the treatments they require. She outlined how biologics for severe asthma are now available on the NHS and NICE has recommended that antifibrotics should be widely available for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis.

Terri, a patient representative, shared her and her son’s story of living with severe asthma in Merseyside. She highlighted the inequalities of lung disease, with Cheshire and Merseyside being the worst places in the country to have a lung condition. Terri described how her son Ethan before accessing a specialist asthma clinic, lived in fear of having an asthma attack, wouldn’t play sports and had to be home-schooled because his school often missed the early signs of an exacerbation. Terri spoke of how the team at the specialist asthma clinic taught Ethan to control his asthma and now Ethan is in full-time education and has achieved a black belt in martial arts.

Her powerful testimony exemplified how our coalition’s mission to improve the care of people with respiratory disease and reduce variation in the quality of lung health care is vital. Going forward, the Taskforce will continue to build relationships with policymakers and advocate on behalf of people with respiratory conditions to ensure they can obtain the diagnosis and treatments they require. To transform the care of people with respiratory conditions, we will focus on three main areas- diagnosis, treatment, and workforce.

 If have any questions or would like more information on the Taskforce’s renewed areas of focus, please contact us.