Lung Disease Death Rate High In Wandsworth

Report says 4,000 in borough may have undiagnosed illness

Hospital admissions and early deaths from lung diseases in Wandsworth are significantly higher than the national average according to figures published in a recent report.

An update for the Wandsworth Clinical Commission Group Board about the identification and treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma for the population of Wandsworth also showed that there were about 4,000 people in the borough with undiagnosed illnesses of this kind. In England COPD is the second most common cause of emergency admissions and one of the mostly costly inpatient conditions.

The report does not mention pollution as being a factor in the above average death rate and focusses on efforts to get people to stop smoking as a way to improve the figures.

A ‘Missing Millions’ project in Primary Care aims to increase of number of people getting proper treatment for COPD. In Wandsworth this has included the development of a consultant-led clinic which will offer patients at risk rapid access to care closer to home.

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation service is provided by Community Services Wandsworth. It aims to improve quality of life and increase independence by improving patients exercise function, increase exercise tolerance, reducing shortness of breath and enable patients to better manage their disease.

On average the service receives over 350 referrals over a 12 month period, although the current capacity is about 140 cases per annum. Consequently waiting times have increased and, although funding was increased in the latest financial year, this was non-recurrent and the team were unable to effectively recruit to provide a sustainable increase in provision.

The Wandsworth Stop Smoking Service provides a free 24 hour helpline. Ring 0800 389 7921 or visit

September 16, 2013