just sent this to a Lord and will copy to my MP too.
I know you will be supportive of this concern and I urge you to garner support in the Lords to amend this health-damaging change.
Respiratory disease (including COPD) has not been included within the four therapy areas covered by the new list of ' Strategic Clinical Networks' (SCNs)
As you will know, care for people with respiratory and lung disease had benefited from the work of 'Regional Respiratory Programme Boards' - regional organisations set up with funding and support from the Department of Health to help healthcare professionals work together to improve respiratory care and services in the local area.
However, funding for these boards runs out in 2013 when the new SCNs become active. This could mean that care for respiratory illnesses such as COPD does not improve at the same rate as the therapy areas (such as cancer and cardiovascular disease) that will continue to receive funding and support through the new SCNs. This is awful and especially at a time when breakthroughs in treatment are on the horizon - according to many researchers and specialists in the field. Surely proper focus on COPD would save money as well as suffering - people do already with better treatment work longer and pay ttaxes, and they don't go into hospital as often. As new developments come on stream in the next few years, we need to maintain this key disease at the very centre of strategy. Only recently beginning to become more publicly known about, COPD was not understood at all by many of those, including myself, who now live with it. So I would think it even more important to dedicate strategy to this disease that threatens so many people and the economy.