Our latest work

Lung conditions are the third biggest killer in the UK, yet too little is being done to prevent, treat and cure them. We’re fighting to change this.

Levelling up lung health

The government was elected in 2019 on a mission to “unite and level up” the country. This was a welcome promise to tackle the deep-rooted place-based inequalities that can be found across the UK in all areas of public life, including educational attainment, pay, labour market access, transport accessibility and health outcomes. After much disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has finally set out what it means by “levelling up” in its white paper, Levelling Up the UK, published in February 2022.

In response to this, Asthma + Lung UK have set out five stress tests that we will be holding the government to account on over the next eight years, as it seeks to level up the UK by 2030, to make sure it overcomes the inequalities at the centre of poor lung health.

Levelling up Lung Health - How improving lung health will achieve levelling up by delivering a healthier, fairer society (2022)

Read our detailed policy roadmaps for achieving levelling up:

Investing In research and development (2022)

Stamping out smoking (2022)

Tackling ambient air pollution (2022)

Improving diagnosis and care (2022)

Reducing air pollution exposure (2022)

Our asthma reports

Prescription charges campaign

Our campaign to stop unfair prescription charges for people with asthma garnered more than 75,000 petition signatures, and generated debates in parliament.

Paying to breathe: why unfair asthma prescription charges must be stopped (2019)

A hidden harm: why healthcare professionals want to stop unfair asthma prescription charges (2019)

Severe asthma

Severe asthma affects a small number of people with asthma but its impact can be devastating. Our research tackles the scale of the problem, access to life-changing treatments, and the real exerience of life with severe and difficult asthma.

Do no harm: safer and better treatment options for people with asthma (2020)

Falling into isolation: lived experience of people with severe asthma (2020)

Living in limbo: the scale of unmet need in difficult and severe asthma (2019)

Slipping through the net: the reality facing patients with difficult and severe asthma (2018)

Basic care – annual asthma surveys

Every year we conduct a major survey of people with asthma, examining the standards of care they receive, and their real-life exerience of living with the condition. Previous issues of the report can also be accessed from the latest survey page.

Fighting back: transforming asthma care in the UK (2022)

Asthma Care in a Crisis: the Annual Asthma Survey 2020 (2021)

Health inequalities

Factors such as where you live, your age and your economic circumstances can affect your chances of developing asthma – and the care you receive. We explore the links between deprivation and asthma, and how to reduce the unfair burden.

On the edge: how inequality affects people with asthma (2018)

Breathing unequal: how people with lung conditions living in poverty are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital (2023)

Digital asthma and data sharing

Technology has the potential to develop new ways to tackle persistent asthma care challenges. We’re exploring how data, digital and connected devices can better be used to re-imagine care at all levels – and ensuring that the patient voice is heard in policy developments.

Digital asthma: re-imagining primary care (2020)

Data sharing and technology: exploring the attitudes of people with asthma (2018)

Smart asthma: deploying digital devices in the UK (2017)

Connected asthma: how technology can transform care (2016)

Research influencing

Explore our work aimed at creating the research environment necessary in the UK and Europe to drive improvements in asthma care and the vital investment in asthma research and development.

Asthma still kills (2019)

Diagnosing asthma: a 21st century challenge (2018)

The true cost of lung conditions (2023)

Other reports

Asthma is worse for women (2022)

Patient safety failures in asthma care: the scale of unsafe prescribing in the UK (2015)

The National Review of Asthma Deaths (2014)

Our lung condition reports

Delayed Diagnosis and Unequal Care (2022) provides key insights into the experience of people with COPD over the last year. It reveals a worrying picture of delayed diagnosis, substandard care, and a disproportionate impact of inequalities on people with COPD.  

Alerting the Nation: Improving the way information is used to protect the most vulnerable from air pollution (2022) uses insight gathered from our beneficiaries to analyse whether air pollution information is getting to people who need it most. The report sets out how government should work with others to ensure the information it provides helps people to both protect themselves and reduce levels air pollution across the country. It also sets out what needs to be done to improve the alerts that are sent out when pollution levels are high in order to protect everyone’s lungs.

Clearing the smoke: Levelling up health by stamping out tobacco (2022) demonstrates the huge impact of smoking on life expectancy and that the government’s levelling up health agenda can only be achieved by a renewed effort to cut smoking rates. It provides effective, evidenced based policies for doing this.

Failing on the fundamentals: our COPD report (2021) – insights from those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the UK.

Clear the air: Improving air quality to protect future generations and level up our communities (2021) highlights the unfair burden which air pollution places on deprived communities across the UK, with new analysis showing the number of babies born into toxic air. It discusses why cleaning up our air should be central to the Government’s levelling up agenda and a key part of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

A Breath of Fresh Air: research into the training needs of UK GPs on Very Brief Advice for smoking cessation shows that not enough GPs are equipped to have effective conversations about smoking with patients.

Recovery and reset for respiratory: restoring and improving basic care for patients with lung disease outlines the enormous impact COVID-19 has had on the care received by people with lung disease across the UK.

The health and economic impacts of toxic air in Liverpool City Region reveals that up to 1,040 deaths per year in Liverpool can be directly linked to exposure to air pollution.

Toxic air at the door of the NHS reveals that millions of patients and healthcare practitioners across the UK are exposed to unsafe levels of pollution.

Less help to quit - what's happening to stop smoking prescriptions across Britain (2018) highlights how every year fewer patients are being given treatments to help them quit smoking.

The battle for breath - the impact of lung disease in the UK (2016) examines the overall extent and impact of lung disease across the UK.

The battle for breath - the economic burden of lung disease (2017) reveals the financial cost of lung disease to the NHS, patients and the economy.

A map for better care (2017) looks at ways to improve access to care for people with interstitial lung disease (ILD).

The economic costs of lung disease and the cost effectiveness of policy and service interventions (2017) – a literature review on the costs of different lung diseases and the cost effectiveness of policy and service interventions.

Out in the cold: lung disease, the hidden driver of NHS winter pressure (2017) – our report, lays bare the steep rise in lung disease admissions to hospitals in recent years.

Diagnosing the problem: right test, right time (2023) - Our new report into the provision of key respiratory diagnostic tests investigates ways to improve early and accurate diagnosis. 

Saving your breath (2023) - Our report sets out three steps to fix lung healthcare – to stop lung conditions destroying lives and burdening the NHS.