RCN welcomes five year plan to improve lung health of the nation

Press Response 05/12/2018

Taskforce for Lung Health's five year plan sets out a framework to improve the nation's lung health, and provide better care for people with lung disease

RCN Head of Nursing Practice Wendy Preston, responding to the Taskforce for Lung Health's five year plan, said:

"One in five people in the UK have been diagnosed with a lung disease but the past ten years have seen no improvement in the number of people dying from preventable lung disease compared to cancers and heart disease.

“Nurses, especially specialist respiratory nurses, play a key role lead in the treatment and care of patients with lung disease. We must do more to encourage nurses to work in this vital area, and increase the overall supply of nurses, as research shows half of all respiratory nurse specialists will retire within the next 8 years.1

“As a member of the Taskforce for Lung Health, which launches an important report today, the RCN is backing calls for NHS England and the Government to focus on the recruitment and retention of nurses, including reviewing the funding mechanisms for training and continuing professional development programmes. With 42,000 nursing vacancies and falling student numbers, there is little time to lose to secure safe and effective care and to grow the next generation of nurses so at least £1 billion must be invested in nursing higher education." 


Notes to Editors

1 - Yorke J, Prigmore S, Hodson M, et al. Evaluation of the current landscape of respiratory nurse specialists in the UK: planning for the future needs of patients. BMJ Open Respiratory Research 2017;4:e000210. doi: 10.1136/bmjresp2017000210

  • Read more about the Taskforce for Lung Health national five year plan here.

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