On 20th December 2019, the Scottish Government undertook a public consultation on the draft Respiratory Care Action Plan, which set out the Scottish Government's vision for driving improvement in the diagnosis, care, treatment and support of people living with respiratory conditions in Scotland. The draft plan focused on five conditions:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
- Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome
The consultation was due to close on 3rd April 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the consultation was extended to 3rd July 2020. The consultation was published on the Scottish Government consultation website (Citizen Space) and the link was sent out to over 60 stakeholders to both consider themselves and pass on to other interested parties. The consultation was open to members of the public, people living with a respiratory condition, NHS organisations and individuals and third sector organisations.
The World Health Organisation has identified chronic respiratory disease as one of the four leading non-communicable diseases worldwide, along with cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. These conditions have a major impact on the lives of people living with them as well as their families and carers; many are not able to work, drive or live independently. Anxiety and depression are common and many people with respiratory conditions have additional long-term conditions such as hypertension, coronary heart disease and diabetes.
Respiratory conditions account for over one third of all acute hospital admissions in Scotland and are also one of the most commonly presented patient groups within primary care. Clinical teams across acute hospitals, primary care and community care are now faced with fresh challenges in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing pressures on services, which will ultimately impact access to care.
The draft Respiratory Care Action Plan identifies key priorities and commitments to improve outcomes for people living with respiratory conditions in Scotland. The plan encourages new and innovative approaches and intends to share best practice. It was not intended as a replacement of current clinical guidance.