Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation told delegates at the Primary Care Live exhibition at the Excel Centre in London yesterday that her ambition was “to make COPD a disease of the past”.
She explained that there are currently over three million with undiagnosed Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in the UK and that the “human cost was high” as the longer they remain undiagnosed the more severe their illness is likely to be when they are diagnosed. She also added that this means that their care is more expensive to the NHS than if they are diagnosed earlier.
Dame Helena Shovelton said: “My ambition is to make COPD a disease of the past. If we can find people at the early stages of their disease and encourage them to stop smoking there is no need for the disease to progress.
“If we could do this then there would be a radical change in the profile of the disease - moving to a disease from which it was unlikely that people died.
“This is a big aim and one the National Strategy for COPD should have when it is published. It is possible but a lot needs to be done to achieve this goal”.
In her speech she also outlined what the British Lung Foundation wants for patients out of the National Strategy for COPD when it is published early next year.
She said “It is absolutely vital that the profile of lung disease is raised through the publication of the strategy so that patients can be diagnosed earlier and given the treatment they need”.
Press release courtesy of the British Lung Foundation
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