Systems for the management of respiratory disease in primary care - an international series: United Kingdom

Allison Worth, Hilary Pinnock, Monica Fletcher, Gaylor Hoskins, Mark L. Levy, Aziz Sheikh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    INTRODUCTION: The UK National Health Service (NHS) is essentially publicly funded through general taxation. Challenges facing the NHS include the rise in prevalence of long-term conditions and financial pressures. NATIONAL POLICY TRENDS: Political devolution within the UK has led to variations in the way services are organised and delivered between the four nations. PRIMARY CARE RESPIRATORY SERVICES IN THE UK: Primary care is the first point of contact with services. Most respiratory conditions are managed here, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care. EPIDEMIOLOGY: Respiratory disease accounts for more primary care consultations than any other type of illness, with 24 million consultations annually. ACCESS TO CARE: Equitable access to care is an ongoing challenge: telehealthcare is being tried as a possible solution for monitoring of asthma and COPD. REFERRAL AND ACCESS TO SPECIALIST CARE: Referrals for specialist advice are usually to a secondary care respiratory physician, though respiratory General Practitioners with a Special Interest (GPwSIs) are an option in some localities. CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of asthma and COPD is high. Asthma services are predominantly nurse-led. Self-management strategies are widely promoted but poorly implemented. COPD is high on the policy agenda with a shift in focus to preventive lung health and longterm condition management
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-32
    Number of pages10
    JournalPrimary Care Respiratory Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Respiratory diseases
    • Primary care
    • National Health Service
    • United Kingdom


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