The Taskforce for Lung Health shows that collaboration gets results
The Taskforce for Lung Health has been awarded Charity Collaboration of the Year at the Charity Times awards. Su Jones, NHS Engagement Partner at the ABPI and Dr Alison Cook, Chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health, explain the importance of the Taskforce and look to the future of its work.
The Charity Times’ recognition of this work as an exemplar of collaboration is therefore well-justified and immensely pleasing, and the Taskforce is further proof – if any more were needed – that working collaboratively achieves far more than forging ahead in isolation. Su Jones, NHS Engagement Policy Partner, ABPI
Whilst we have seen the benefits of our approach with respiratory as an official priority in NHS England’s Long-Term Plan, we must not lose sight that the Taskforce’s ambitions go further. We need to continue to push government and policymakers to deliver more and faster transformation. Dr Alison Cook, Chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health
Su Jones, NHS engagement policy partner at the ABPI:
The ABPI is proud to be part of the Taskforce for Lung Health – the largest ever collaboration of patients, healthcare professionals, voluntary sectors, and professional associations focused on improving lung health in the nation. Formed in 2018, it set out to make a difference to people with lung disease in England by achieving policy change and improving services.
In December 2018, the Taskforce published a five-year plan with 43 recommendations on how to improve the nation’s lung health. We believe that if implemented, these recommendations will improve the lives of every person living with lung disease in England. The organisations within the Taskforce work closely together to raise awareness of lung health in England and put the plan into action.
Before the Taskforce for Lung Health was set up, there had previously been no coherent or organised collaboration of patient groups, charities, professional associations and other organisations addressing lung health. This also meant that there was no easily identifiable messaging for policy makers, politicians and other key audiences to follow when tackling the complex issue of lung health in the nation.
Since its inception, the Taskforce has secured significant wins, from ensuring that respiratory is a priority in the NHS Long Term Plan, increasing the profile of the Taskforce in Westminster, to creating the Lung Health Data Tracker.
You can read more about the progress made so far in the Taskforce One Year On report, here.
The Charity Times’ recognition of this work as an exemplar of collaboration is therefore well-justified and immensely pleasing, and the Taskforce is further proof – if any more were needed – that working collaboratively achieves far more than forging ahead in isolation.
As we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of an ageing population with multi-morbidities, it’s clear that collaboration is needed now more than ever.
The Taskforce’s work on lung health is by no means over, but its impact so far demonstrates that tackling huge health challenges should only be approached collaboratively, taking advantage of other perspectives and combined knowledge.
Dr Alison Cook, Chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health:
We were delighted to receive recognition as ‘Charity Collaboration of the Year’ in the Charity Times Awards. This celebrated the work of the 35 members of the Taskforce for Lung Health and their collaboration with the British Lung Foundation, now part of the Asthma UK & British Lung Foundation Partnership, acting as a Secretariat for the Taskforce and supporting the membership in working together to achieve our goals. This award is an important milestone for the Taskforce because we have long been working hard to campaign, lobby and advise decision makers – getting this recognition is one of the many steps towards cementing our reputation as the authoritative voice on lung health in the nation.
But this award is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the collaborative efforts and strengths of our members. The Taskforce has grown immeasurably since its inception in 2018 – from directly influencing government policy, to becoming a vocal presence in the media and in the minds of decision makers, we are incredibly proud of the steps we have made to actively change the state of lung health. Ultimately, everything the Taskforce has achieved thus far is down to the sheer talent and dedication of our members to improve the care and treatment of people living with lung disease around the country.
Now, with COVID-19 changing the face of respiratory care for the foreseeable future, our common goal and purpose could not be more vital or timely. As a collaboration of 35 organisations, we have consciously put the patient voice at the centre of all our work, using it to drive and focus our efforts, and we will only fight harder to make sure that we all play our part to support everyone affected by lung disease during this difficult and uncertain time. The individual voices of people affected by lung disease have really moved decision-makers, which is another reason we have pushed the NHS England Programme and Respiratory Delivery Boards to make sure they have patient representation. This has added considerably to our urgency, energy and impact and we remain committed to having patients involved at every level.
Whilst we have seen the benefits of our approach with respiratory as an official priority in NHS England’s Long-Term Plan, we must not lose sight that the Taskforce’s ambitions go further. We need to continue to push government and policymakers to deliver more and faster transformation. Our success in working as a collaboration comes from our shared goal and vision for what the Taskforce can achieve, and it is our members – of which ABPI is one – who drive our success.
While we are taking bigger strides than ever before (and getting the recognition for it!), our work is not done, and we must remain focused and flexible to ensure the Taskforce can continue to have maximum impact.
Last modified: 20 September 2023
Last reviewed: 20 September 2023