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I note, reading the coverage of the NHS England Long Term Plan in this week’s BMJ, no reference to the inclusion, for the first time, of respiratory disease as a clinical priority. Despite being responsible for a similar health burden to heart disease and cancer, respiratory diseases and by extension people with respiratory disease, have been relatively neglected.
National Service Frameworks and their successors, associated networks and targets have had obvious impacts in cardiology and cancer, while respiratory outcomes in the UK have stood still. This new system-wide mandate to bring attention to bear on lung disease is hard won, long-overdue and much to be welcomed.