Our long-term plan for collaborative working with patient and professional Respiratory organisations has led to partnerships with Asthma UK, Education for Health, the Primary Care Respiratory Society and, during 2016, the British Lung Foundation (BLF).
We supported their year-long ‘Listen to your Lungs’ campaign, launched following the ‘Battle for Breath’ report and designed to highlight the prevalence and potential risks of undiagnosed lung disease. The three-year study behind that report estimated that lung disease causes over 700,000 hospital admissions every year in the UK, with deaths from it barely changing in a decade1 – leading the BLF and other respiratory bodies to believe that better prevention strategies, earlier diagnosis and public awareness may be the best way to improve the statistics.
The Listen to your Lungs campaign’s aim is to encourage people not to ignore the feeling of breathlessness as part of their everyday life, and the BLF developed a simple online breath test to help assess their respiratory status and check if their symptoms indicate they should see a GP.
The test has been extremely successful in raising awareness; over 250,000 people have now taken it, triggering much discussion on social media with people experiencing breathlessness.
A follow-up survey, based on 600 respondents, suggests it’s had a far-reaching impact. 67% of completed tests (167,500 individuals) have prompted users to visit their GP, while 30% of respondents – equating to up to 75,000 people – say they have seen their GP as a result of their test. Furthermore, 8% said they have now been diagnosed; that’s as many as 20,000 people.
We are proud to have partnered with the BLF, and look forward to ongoing success with the Listen to your Lungs campaign. To find out more, visit www.blf.org.uk/take-action/campaign/listen-to-your-lungs.