PIF member Asthma + Lung UK says more money and time needs to be spent helping people with lung conditions stay well and out of hospital.
Lung conditions are the third biggest killer in the UK.
They are a leading cause of winter pressures and cost the NHS almost £10 billion a year.
Asthma + Lung UK says ‘far too much’ of this money is spent on treating people who are already critically ill and need unplanned, urgent help.
1 in 5 people will experience a lung condition.
Despite this, awareness of lung conditions and their significant impacts are low among healthcare professionals and the public.
The cost of lung conditions
Asthma + Lung UK commissioned PwC to quantify the impact of lung conditions and the positive impact of specific interventions to improve diagnosis and care.
This showed lung conditions, specifically asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD):
- Cost the NHS £9.6 billion in direct costs
- Cause reductions in productivity costing £4.2 billion because of illness or premature death
- Have an overall impact of £13.8 billion on the UK economy
A blueprint for better lung health
In its Saving Your Breath report, Asthma + Lung UK sets out a blueprint for better lung health based on 3 areas:
- Diagnosing lung disease early and accurately
- Keeping people healthy and out of hospital
- Giving access to treatment that works
This will benefit those with lung conditions and the NHS. PwC analysis suggests these measures could:
- Save the NHS £307 million a year
- Reduce hospital bed days by 272,000 a year
- Produce wider economic benefits of more than £394 million a year