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Lung Diseases: Health Services

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of (a) the adequacy of palliative care and (b) access to pulmonary rehabilitation for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (242762)

According to a recent Royal College of Physicians1 report, based on UK audit data, approximately 50 per cent. of acute units have a formal referral pathway to palliative medicine for end of life care for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 66 per cent. are planning to develop (or further develop) palliative care services in the future.

For pulmonary rehabilitation approximately 70 per cent. of primary care organisations state that they provide community based pulmonary rehabilitation. In secondary care approximately 90 per cent. of acute units provide formal pulmonary rehabilitation programmes.

An End of Life Care Strategy was published in July and its aim is to improve care for people approaching end of life whatever their diagnosis or condition. A copy has already been placed in the Library. The National Strategy for COPD, which will be published early next year, will also aim to improve access to palliative and end of life care for people with COPD. It will also set clear standards for the provision of pulmonary rehabilitation, whatever the setting.

1 Report of The National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Audit 2008, UK Primary Care Organisations: Resources and Organisation of Care: Royal College of Physicians of London, British Thoracic Society and British Lung Foundation November 2008