Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Improving lung health in England - priorities for prevention, integrated care delivery, and innovation

Morning, Thursday, 20th May 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will assess the priorities and next steps for improving lung health in England.

The discussion takes place in the context of significant health policy developments, with respiratory disease:

  • having been made a clinical priority within the NHS Long Term Plan
  • being moved forward by the Health and Care Bill, following reforms proposed in the Government’s recent white paper on the future of health and care, designed to support the development of integrated and preventative healthcare in order to enable the delivery of ambitions in the Plan

It also comes with increased focus on respiratory health more broadly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the respiratory effects seen in sufferers of long COVID, and on air pollution as a factor in lung health.

We are pleased that keynote speakers include: Sarah Woolnough, Chief Executive, Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation; David Rhodes, Director of Environmental Public Health, Public Health England; Jonathan Fuld, Consultant Physician, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Sundeep Kaul, Consultant in Intensive Care & Respiratory Medicine, The Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust; and Professor Tom Wilkinson, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton.

The agenda looks at next steps for:

  • responding to the pandemic, and the challenges of long COVID
  • lung health in the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan
  • optimising respiratory prescribing
  • promoting prevention and addressing inequalities, including air quality improvement and developing healthy communities
  • integrated respiratory care, rehabilitation and care at a local level
  • research, innovation and priorities for service transformation

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords, and key policy officials who are due to attend from the DHSC; the DWP and the HSE.

The agenda

  • The impact of COVID-19 on improving lung health, and key priorities going forward
  • The role of respiratory networks in delivering COVID-19 response and delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan
  • Improving respiratory outcomes: diagnosis and training, joining up care pathways, utilising innovation, optimising prescribing, scaling up rehabilitation, and addressing variation
  • Responding to the long-term effects of COVID-19 and developing care for long COVID
  • Air quality and lung health - latest developments and priorities going forward
  • Improving lung health at the local level - next steps for developing healthy communities, reaching high-risk groups, addressing inequalities, promoting prevention, and delivering effective screening provision
  • Priorities for innovative research, and the transformation required to achieve world-leading respiratory outcomes

Key areas for discussion:

Integrated care and NHS reform:

  • the Health and Care Bill:
    • what is needed from the Bill to support the aim of different aspects of the health and care system to working together
    • what this means for improving the delivery of joined up care pathways for respiratory disease
  • ICSs:
    • the impact of strengthening integrated care systems though NHS reform in improving lung health in local populations
    • next steps for addressing lung health at the system level and utilising population health methods
  • public health:
    • how NHS reforms can support the health system in taking a preventative approach to healthcare
    • the opportunities for improving lung health through increased focus upon tackling health inequalities
  • implementation: driving forward and enabling the effective delivery of integrated care provision, developing respiratory clinical networks, and what NHS reforms mean for these developments


  • impact - looking at:
    • diagnosis - issues for lung cancer and other conditions where some symptoms may have similarities with those associated with coronavirus
    • delivery of services - provision during the pandemic, and responding to increased pressures
    • outcomes - for people with pre-existing respiratory conditions
  • specialist expertise - assessing its use in:
    • responding to the respiratory effects of the virus, and supporting rehabilitation
    • the understanding and mitigation of the risks presented to those with existing respiratory conditions
  • long COVID:
    • priorities - research and improving the understanding of the long-term respiratory conditions that can result from COVID-19, as well as how they can be responded to
    • best practice - including what has been learned for multidisciplinary teams working to coordinate care on how to improve provision going forward
  • opportunities - with increased research and attention on respiratory health as a result of the pandemic:
    • what has been learned that can help advance health outcomes going forward
    • what are the key areas that this applies to
  • vaccination - the impact of updated guidance which means that not all asthmatics fall into the priority group for vaccination

Implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan:

  • progress - as well as evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on delivery
  • investment - priorities and the pathway to meeting ambitions for becoming an international leader in respiratory outcomes
  • policy context - the role of the Health and Care Bill in improving the delivery of ambitions for respiratory disease and lung health within the Plan

Screening and prevention:

  • recovering from the disruption - especially to lung cancer screenings, and the next steps for identifying and reaching high-risk groups
  • routine CT scanning - the potential for rollout to smokers and ex-smokers, called for following a successful study which found that it enables tumours to be caught at an early enough stage for removal


  • spirometry testing - improving its widespread use
  • aiding confident diagnosis - developing the effectiveness of training methods, and supporting clinicians in both diagnosis and providing ongoing management
  • lung cancer diagnosis:
    • the impact of research by the universities of Leeds, Southampton and Manchester to develop earlier diagnosis of lung cancers, expanding on aims in the NHS LTP
    • priorities for addressing delays in diagnosis resulting from the pandemic
  • primary care networks - their role in delivering testing
  • reducing variation - discussing priorities and strategies

Respiratory prescribing:

  • ensuring effectiveness - including using medicine reviews to create efficiencies and ensure that the most appropriate medicine is being used
  • environmentally-friendly inhalers - and encouraging their appropriate use
  • the respiratory dashboard - how it is being utilised in local health systems, and assessing its role in addressing variation across England

Pulmonary rehabilitation:

  • scaling up the programme - and sharing best practice for delivering multidisciplinary rehabilitative care, utilising digitally-enabled methods, and encouraging self-management
  • meeting referrals goals - commissioning and progress in incentivising referrals to pulmonary rehabilitation to meet ambitions for a 60% referral rate by 2023

Research priorities - innovation and the transformation required to achieve world-leading respiratory outcomes

Air quality:

  • the wider policy context - lung health and the impact of the Clean Air Strategy, as well as recommendations from the EFRA committee that the Government include WHO guidelines for air pollution as an amendment to the Environment Bill
  • healthy communities - next steps for development, as well as the latest thinking and awareness on air quality and public health following drops in some pollutants during national lockdowns
  • the legal position - with:
    • the Southwark Coroner’s ruling of air pollution as a material contributor to the death following an asthma attack of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah
    • calls for national air pollution limits to reflect WHO guidelines in the report to prevent future deaths
  • tackling air pollution in key locations - such as around hospitals, care homes, and medical centres, and preventing harm in older and vulnerable patients

Inequalities and disadvantaged groups:

  • prevention - assessing options for tackling the risk factors associated with respiratory conditions in disadvantaged groups
  • learning from the pandemic - how COVID-19 has highlighted health inequalities and vulnerable groups
  • the future - how to address and provide support going forward

A scan of relevant developments:

  • Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all - the Government’s white paper on the future of health and care, including reforms which will be brought forward as part of the Health and Care Bill, that aim to improve integration and the use of population health methods, and drive improvements to public health
  • NHS Long Term Plan - making respiratory disease a clinical priority, and setting out ambitions around diagnosis, rehabilitation, medicine optimisation and integrated care
  • the Lung Health Taskforce - set up to inform the development and delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan’s respiratory ambitions, as well as delivering progress reports on their own Five Year Plan
  • respiratory clinical networks:
    • taking forward improvements as part of the NHS Long Term Plan
    • providing system level oversight and knowledge sharing, as well as managing COVID-19 care and pressures during the pandemic
  • NHS England ambitions for pulmonary rehabilitation - to improve referral rates to 60% by 2023, and measures to incentivise GPs
  • the Respiratory Dashboard - from the NHS Business Services Authority to support medicine optimisation, reduced variation, and measures to keep patients out of hospital and in community care
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement’s 5-Point plan for Long COVID support - with:
    • key priorities for providing effective care and support to patients suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19
    • new data from the ONS finding that 1.1m people have experienced long COVID in the UK
  • the Clean Air Strategy - aimed at effectively communicating health messages about air pollution, and working with health professionals to embed air quality into education and training, with concerns over progress in meeting air pollution targets
  • Air Quality and Coronavirus: A Glimpse of a Different Future or Business as Usual - the EFRA Committee report which recommended the inclusion of WHO guidelines for air pollution as an amendment to the Environment Bill, which was not included within the Government response to the report
  • A Breath of Fresh Air: research into the training needs of UK GPs on Very Brief Advice for smoking cessation - British Lung Foundation report highlighting the need for more GP training to help patients quit smoking, and identifying key areas for policy development
  • The invisible threat: how we can protect people from air pollution and create a fairer, healthier society - a report published by Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, finding:
    • around 6m over 65 year olds have an increased risk of asthma attacks and difficulty breathing due to high levels of pollution in their local area
    • concerning levels of air pollution near care homes, hospitals and medical centres
  • GPs report ‘perfect storm’ of problems leading to 20,000 drop in urgent referrals for lung cancer - Cancer UK finding reductions of around a third in referrals for lung cancer compared to March 2020

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords, and officials from the Department of Health and Social Care; the DWP and the Health and Safety Executive.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials and regulators involved in this area of public policy, as well as CCGs, trusts, health professionals, public and environmental health specialists, respiratory charities, local authorities, the health technology sector, the pharmaceutical industry, third sector and patient groups, research, academia and think tanks, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Sarah Woolnough

Chief Executive, Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation

David Rhodes

Director of Environmental Public Health, Public Health England

Keynote Speakers

Sarah Woolnough

Chief Executive, Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation

Dr Sundeep Kaul

Consultant in Intensive Care & Respiratory Medicine, The Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

David Rhodes

Director of Environmental Public Health, Public Health England

Professor Tom Wilkinson

Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton and Honorary NHS Consultant Physician, University Hospitals Southampton


Tom Moberly

UK Editor, The BMJ


Amena Warner

Head of Clinical Services, Allergy UK

Jonathan Fuld

Consultant Physician, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Wendy Preston

Head of Nursing Practice, Royal College of Nursing

Dr Vincent Mak

Consultant Physician in Integrated Respiratory Care, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Elliot Treharne

Assistant Director, Environment, GLA

Dr Murugesan Raja

Respiratory Clinical Advisor for Primary Care, Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Strategic Clinical Network; and Respiratory Clinical Lead, Manchester Health and Care Commissioning

Dr Phil Crosbie

Clinical Senior Lecturer, Division of Infection, Immunity and Respiratory Medicine, University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Yang Xu

UK Head of Inhaled Respiratory Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca

Kim Verry

Clinical Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation