A greater focus on improving early and accurate diagnosis of respiratory disease is called for in a National Five Year Plan for Lung Health, published this month.
The aim of the plan, launched by the Taskforce for Lung Health, a collaboration between 29 respiratory organisations, including PCRS, is to ‘create a society where everyone can live with healthy lungs for as long as possible and have the best chance of living well, or recovering, when lung disease develops.’
Its recommendations include:
- All health care professionals should be trained in offering very brief advice on smoking cessation
- A clear patient pathway with services for timely, accurate and complete diagnosis should be created for all people with breathlessness and other respiratory symptoms
- A single consistent guideline should be developed for diagnosis and management of asthma
- Targeted case-finding should be introduced for people who have symptoms suggestive of COPD
- All health care professionals working with respiratory patients should be trained and upskilled in inhaler use and technique to ensure patients take their medication correctly
- Every person with lung disease should have a personalised care plan.
- Access to pulmonary rehabilitation should be improved
PCRS Vice Chair Carol Stonham commented: ‘Maintaining healthy lungs through prevention of lung disease, and accurate early diagnosis of respiratory conditions are just two of the recommendations that those working in primary and community care can deliver. PCRS supports clinicians to do this well through education, networking, peer support and pragmatic guides.’
National Five Year Plan for Lung Health http://www.blf.org.uk/taskforce-plan