Working in conjunction with others such as the British Thoracic Society, Asthma UK, British Lung Foundation and Royal College of General Practitioners, PCRS is seen as the national, independent and authoritative voice/society representing primary care respiratory medicine. We campaign to influence policy and set standards in respiratory medicine, which are relevant to primary care nationally and locally.
We have a policy network of around 25-30 members who are aligned to different aspects of respiratory care or one of the other three nations, and they input to and help shape our influencing policy work. These individuals, supported by regular consultation with our wider membership, play a key role in helping to ensure we appropriately represent the primary care respiratory team.
Our influencing policy work is overseen by the Executive committee, led by the PCRS Executive Policy Lead (Carol Stonham) and supported by the PCRS Clinical Policy Advisor (Dr Kevin Gruffydd Jones) and Tracey Lonergan, our Policy adviser.
To find out more about our work in this area or join the policy network, please contact Tracey Lonergan.
Why does Primary Care Respiratory Society get involved in policy influencing?
We engage with the NHS to try to ensure the right standards, supported by the appropriate policy levers, incentives and mechanisms to cascade them, are in place nationally. This is crucial to the practical delivery of high value patient-centred respiratory care by primary care health professionals locally. We bring a unique contribution by combining both a respiratory and primary care perspective, to shape policy relevant to the management of respiratory disease in primary care from its early stages of development through to final implementation. Where we can, we work alongside organisations with a similar interest in improving respiratory disease, collaborating by sharing expertise and outputs, and reinforcing each other’s work.
Examples of our national policy influencing work
- We alert members to opportunities to sit on NICE committees on respiratory topics, to ensure primary care is appropriately represented
- We respond to consultations on NICE work relating to respiratory conditions managed in primary care – e.g. technology appraisals on smoking cessation, COPD, asthma, respiratory allergy and flu, Quality standards for respiratory conditions, respiratory QOF indicators
- We input from a primary care perspective to consultations on guidelines for respiratory conditions, regardless of the organisations developing them
- We put forward primary care clinicians to represent us on major national initiatives such as the National COPD audit and National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD)
- We support PCRS members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who act as National leads for us, in shaping respiratory policy for their countries
- We maintain relationships with individuals and organisations which influence policy for respiratory disease, whether in NHS England, equivalent bodies in the other three nations, quality and improvement organisations, think tanks, and Royal colleges
Supporting local implementation of policy and development of local policy
We recognise that having the right standards and policy levers in place nationally is not enough and we also need to support clinicians and NHS organisations in interpreting and implementing that policy at a local level through:
- Policy updates, providing concise information on the latest policy developments and tips on how to use locally to support improved care included in our regular publication Primary Care Respiratory Update.
- Supporting our Network of PCRS National and Regional leads around the country .
If you are interested in more information about PCRS' policy work, how we can support you to use policy to improve care locally or to have your say on national policy, please contact the Policy team.