Skip to main content

PCRS marks World Asthma Day with launch of The Greener Respiratory Patient Pathway


The Greener Respiratory Pathway

The Primary Care Respiratory Society, launched today (5/05/21) their Greener Respiratory Pathway. The launch of the toolkit coincides with World Asthma Day, which takes as its theme this year – “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions”.

The interactive tool aims to help clinicians work with patients to identify a greener approach to delivering high quality, patient centred respiratory care. It can also help to dispel the myth that effective asthma control cannot be achieved without damaging the environment, or that treating asthma in a greener way will always lead to worse outcomes for the patient.

The PCRS Greener Respiratory Pathway is a product of the PCRS Greener Healthcare Initiative. PCRS recognise that air pollution and climate change contribute to poor health and increased mortality amongst patients with asthma. Health care practitioners can play a key role in helping to contribute to a healthier environment by helping to reduce the damaging environmental effects of respiratory related care. Early, accurate diagnosis, improved supported self management, effective inhaler techniques, and adherence can not only help to improve the quality of life for patients with asthma, they can also help to reduce the number of unnecessary hospital visits, reduce waste, stockpiling and unused medications. There are a range of measures, tools and techniques that can help to deliver healthcare in a greener way, but it can be difficult for clinicians to know where to start, or what will be beneficial for the patient.

The PCRS Greener Respiratory Pathway is an interactive tool that uses simple graphics and icons and a clear step by step approach. Health care professionals can click on any element of the patient pathway - (Prevention, Diagnosis, Maintenance, Periodic Worsening and End of Life) to see a list of actions/interventions/guidance - all of which will in some way help to deliver good quality respiratory care, in a way that is less damaging to the environment and will help to reduce waste. Resources are categorised according to where they are likely to be used in the pathway, as well as by driver - e.g technology, footprint, education, collaboration or medication.

Included in today’s launch are the release of two new pieces of PCRS guidance:

PCRS Guidance on making safe and clinically appropriate changes to inhalers - Inhalers for the delivery of respiratory medications have transformed the care of patients with respiratory disease. However, their contribution to environmental pollution in terms of propellant gases and also as single use plastic devices has made them an important focus for efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the NHS. This guidance explores how to incorporate environmental considerations when selecting inhaler devices for patients newly diagnosed with respiratory disease.

PCRS Top Tips for making the case for greener respiratory health care – This guidance explores how Health Care Professionals can get started with influencing local policy to raise awareness and drive forward greener respiratory healthcare initiatives to ensure that the environment is at the heart of all health and social care decision making.

Carol Stonham, Executive Chair of PCRS and Clinical Lead on the PCRS Greener Healthcare Campaign said, “The truth is, effective asthma control will by default help to protect the planet – and there are many techniques and approaches that can be used to achieve effective asthma control which will not result in environmental harm. However, we recognise that one size does not fit all and not everything in the pathway will be right for all patients, but one of the benefits of pathway approach, is that clinicians can identify what is most appropriate for their patient according to where they are on that pathway, or what aspect (e.g lifestyle, medication, education) they can address safely.”

An interactive PDF is attached to this press release. To view the interactive Resource online visit