Lost in the system
Once diagnosed, many people are left to navigate the health system on their own, missing out on the support they desperately need. People lose years of their life battling lung disease when they could access interventions and treatments, like pulmonary rehabilitation, enabling them to manage their condition well.
This also leaves health services facing ever increasing pressure to deal with the impact of lung conditions. People end up being admitted to hospital, when they often could have been treated earlier and more effectively before they get so unwell.
We need change
- Health systems across all UK nations should make access to high quality care, including pulmonary rehab, a reality for everyone who has difficulty breathing.
- Patients and their families should have the best possible advice and information from the point of diagnosis onwards.
- Funding should be invested in the creation and adoption of data-driven digital tools that empower people with lung disease to monitor their health and make informed choices.
Most people with lung disease spend very little time each year in contact with healthcare professionals. With the NHS stretched like never before this is only going to get worse. For the rest of the time they are monitoring, treating, and trying to understand their health and their lungs on their own..”
Dr Andy Whittamore, Clinical Lead at Asthma + Lung UK and practising GP