The NHS Long Term Plan and respiratory care

Year published: 2019

This briefing highlights the commitments in the Long Term Plan for respiratory health.

Key messages from the CSP and ACPRC on local implementation

Pulmonary rehabilitation should be accessible to all that would benefit from a programme, including those with less severe symptoms

  • Local rehabilitation systems needs to be considered as a whole – adopting a symptoms and needs based approach to service and pathway design 
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation teams needs to be embedded as part of this overall rehab system
  • Their role includes assessment of need and directing patients to the most appropriate rehab support for them from community rehab teams, exercise professionals or voluntary sector groups
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation is similar to other rehabilitation – such as cardiac – and should be brought more together in service design and delivery
  • Ongoing rehabilitation in the community needs to be continuous from when people leave hospital, with no gaps  
  • Community rehab teams need to have open access to dedicated pulmonary rehab teams to ensure hand oversystems are working, for specialist advice, training and if necessary for referrals back in when complex rehabilitation needs emerge later on.

New models of providing rehabilitation to those with less severe COPD, including digital tools, will be offered to provide support to a wider group of patients with rehabilitation and self-management support. 

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