Lung specialists call for greater NHS investment and integration to improve outcomes for people with chronic lung disease

Responding to the latest National COPD Audit Programme report Dr Lisa Davies, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Chair of the British Thoracic Society’s Board of Trustees, said:

‘The report shows some welcome historical improvements in hospital outcomes for people with chronic lung disease - but we must urgently address how non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is being resourced and delivered in our hospitals.

The study also reflects an under-pressure, under-resourced and often-fragmented NHS, struggling to deliver a holistic approach to COPD care between the hospital and community.

Solutions exist – and we must pull together to roll out good practice across the NHS. First, we must improve the way we assess and discharge people with COPD and we welcome the new national tariff in this area which will incentivise better practice.  

We must also ensure that those people with COPD who do smoke are given the opportunity, and support, to quit whilst in hospital. This is often the most effective treatment for their condition and we must do better in this area.

We call again on NHS England to extend their ‘Vanguard’ programme by investing in dedicated ‘healthy lung pilots’ where hospital respiratory specialists share their expertise with community health professionals to provide the most effective treatments and care for people closer to home. These new models of care are very successful in promoting lung health and reducing lung disease flare-ups that require hospital admission.’


For more information, please contact Rosie Strachan on 020 7831 8778 or


Note to Editors:

The British Thoracic Society (BTS) is the UK’s professional body of respiratory specialists.

The Society seeks to improve standards of care for people who have respiratory diseases and to support and develop those who provide that care.  A registered charity, it has over 3,000 members including doctors, nurses, respiratory physiotherapists, scientists and other professionals with a respiratory interest.