Guest column: New task force is huge boost in the fight against lung disease

Sir Kevin Barron MP
Sir Kevin Barron MP

For many years I have been campaigning for improvements to lung health whether it be COPD for ex-miners or the introduction of the smoking ban in public places.

I was delighted to attend an event in Westminster for the new Task Force for Lung Health.

The aim of the task force is to develop a single five-year plan for improving lung health in England.

As well as bringing together the lung health community, the task force will help build public awareness and under-standing of lung health including how to keep your lungs as healthy as possible.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a decrease in the number of people dying from lung disease in over a decade.

Whilst there are examples of effective services and good practice, it hasn’t previously been pulled together into one single plan covering the whole patient pathway.

As a first step the task force has called for evidence to identify what needs to change in how we prevent, diagnose and treat lung disease.

Anyone who has experience of living with a lung disease can get involved and tell the task force how things could be improved by contacting the British Lung Foundation.

I was delighted to hear this week that the Dinnington Neighbourhood Partnerships Team, along with the local Labour councillors, have been working with residents to restore an area of land which was last used as allotments more than 25 years ago.

Community groups have worked relentlessly to reach a position where the community group known as Better Dinnington now has a 10-year lease on the land to operate a community allotment and garden.

After the fantastic progress made to renew the heavily overgrown and litter strewn site, it is wonderful that they now have the first plants going in.