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British Thoracic Society and the Primary Care Respiratory Society collaborate to publish a Position Statement on Integrated Care


Today the British Thoracic Society (BTS) and the Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS) publish a joint Position Statement on Integrated Care in Respiratory. 

BTS and PCRS are key membership organisations that represent and support all respiratory healthcare professionals working in the NHS across the UK. We are committed to supporting integrated models of respiratory healthcare that put patients at the centre. We believe that close working between our organisations, highlighted by the publication of this document, will help to ensure that tools, resources and education materials are shared widely across all members of the multi-professional team to the benefit of patients. 

Integrated respiratory care is patient-centred and focused on the co-ordination of the multi-professional team working together to deliver high-quality care that is accessible and takes into account physical and mental health, housing and social care. It aims to improve health outcomes, tackle complex challenges and inequalities in the provision of healthcare, and prevent avoidable hospital admissions.

The Position Statement states that while each organisation has, and will retain, its own range of initiatives to support the provision of integrated care, both organisations share common priorities and have identified the following common goals; 

  • To support pathways of care that help people to stay well and live independently and avoid unnecessary admission to hospital.
  • To support improved patient experience by advocating a whole person approach to planning and delivering respiratory care.
  • To support improved outcomes for patients and address health inequalities (which includes levelling outcomes, improved access to diagnosis, treatment and follow-up).
  • To support workforce recruitment and retention models that highlight the need for the multi-professional respiratory workforce to have sufficient capacity to integrate effectively.

The Statement is aimed at all respiratory healthcare professionals across primary and secondary care, including those involved with the planning and commissioning of services. It also includes a five-part high level model for use by respiratory teams, highlighting practical steps to help ensure the success of integrated respiratory healthcare.

On the publication of the Position Statement, Daryl Freeman, Primary Care Respiratory Society and Associate Clinical Director Primary Care and GP in Older Peoples Medicine, Norfolk said,

“It’s been an inspiration to be part of the BTS/PCRS joint working group delivering this statement. I know that it will inspire clinicians/Trusts and Integrated Care Boards to design and deliver integrated care in their own regions and enable new implementers; giving them access to a document to which they can not only refer, but the support and experience of clinicians from BTS and PCRS who are either actively working in or developing integrated services.”

Dr Paul Walker, Chair of BTS, added,

”Integration of respiratory care is vital to optimally deliver health and social care in a system that is often disjointed and challenging for patients and carers to navigate. Not only is integrated respiratory care more efficient and productive it encourages sharing of skills, knowledge and insight. This position statement encourages respiratory professionals and teams, across the healthcare landscape, to work better together to improve outcomes for patients”.

Both BTS and PCRS are committed to helping grow the understanding of what the delivery of high-quality, integrated services should look like. By aligning our work in this way, it is hoped that the resources available to those involved in integrating services are more comprehensive, and as a result the respiratory patient journey through the health system is improved.