Bridging the Gap: Tackling Undiagnosed Breathing Problems in England


Undiagnosed breathing problems are posing a significant health challenge in England, as a recent report commissioned by Asthma and Lung UK reveals. Thousands of individuals with conditions such as asthma are left without proper diagnosis and treatment due to the lack of basic lung function tests offered by most GP surgeries across the country.

This alarming oversight not only affects the quality of life for those affected but also places additional strain on the NHS, especially during the demanding winter months. In this blog post, we’ll explore the consequences of this issue and discuss how Occupational Health companies can play a crucial role in addressing it.


The Silent Crisis:
The report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers paints a concerning picture. It highlights that many GP surgeries in England are failing to provide essential lung function tests, leaving individuals with respiratory conditions undiagnosed and untreated. This oversight not only has detrimental effects on their health but also poses a significant risk of a surge in hospital admissions during the winter season, when the NHS is already under immense pressure.


The Impact on Patients:
Undiagnosed breathing problems can severely impact the lives of those affected. People with conditions like asthma often experience symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing, and chest tightness.

Without a proper diagnosis, they may not receive the appropriate medication and management strategies, leading to a reduced quality of life and potential complications. This situation is entirely avoidable with early detection and intervention.


The NHS Strain:
The strain on the NHS cannot be understated. The lack of basic lung function tests means that patients may only seek medical attention when their condition has deteriorated significantly, leading to emergency admissions. This not only burdens the healthcare system but also results in increased healthcare costs.

The Role of Occupational Health Companies:
Occupational Health companies can make a meaningful contribution to addressing this issue. By offering lung function testing services in workplaces, they can proactively identify employees at risk of respiratory conditions. Early detection enables individuals to seek appropriate medical care and management, preventing the progression of their conditions and reducing the burden on the NHS.



The report’s findings highlight a pressing need for improved access to lung function tests in England. Undiagnosed breathing problems have far-reaching consequences for individuals and place an additional burden on the NHS, particularly during winter. Occupational Health companies have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in filling this gap by offering lung function testing services in workplaces.

By doing so, they can help identify and manage respiratory conditions early, ensuring better health outcomes for employees and alleviating the strain on the healthcare system.


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