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Workplace Illness Lawyers Back Industrial Disease Initiatives

Two National Programmes Raising Awareness Of Respiratory Conditions


Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham based specialist industrial disease team has welcomed new national programmes launched to raise awareness of the risks of respiratory disease, as well as the rights of individuals to bring claims against former employers who may have failed in their duty of care.

The Royal College of Physicians is leading a 12-month National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) in the UK, which started in February this year. The project, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, and run in collaboration with professional and patient organisations, is collecting details of asthma deaths in hospital and in the community across the UK.

The aim of the project is to understand why people of all ages die from asthma and the NRAD will collect details of asthma deaths to identify what can be done to improve care and reduce deaths in the future.

Alongside this is the groundbreaking new audit which has been announced at the British Thoracic Society winter meeting. The programme will be clinically led by the Royal College of Physicians, the British Thoracic Society, the Primary Care Respiratory Society and in partnership with the British Lung Foundation, and will commence in early 2013 for an initial period of three years.

Figures have revealed respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death in England, with approximately 23,000 people dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) each year. Over six million people in England suffer with COPD or asthma and respiratory disease is one of the principal reasons for emergency admission to hospital.

The new audit programme brings together many strands of the primary and secondary care system and is designed to improve awareness of the condition and levels of patient care.

Industrial disease specialist Alex Shorey, of the workplace illness team at the Birmingham office of Irwin Mitchell, represents people who have suffered long-term health problems as a result of occupational asthma and other respiratory diseases developed during work.

Welcoming the programmes, Alex said: “The link between many cases of respiratory disease in England and Wales and the patient’s employment often goes unrecognised.

“This is despite the distinct possibility that the condition has either been caused or at the very least aggravated by the working environment a patient has been exposed to.

“At Irwin Mitchell we strive to ensure clients are able to gain justice and answers in relation to the pain and suffering they endure, as well as welcome any measures which will serve to provide information and warnings to workers who may be exposed to these very risks.

“This is why we are very hopeful that these initiatives will lead to a better understanding of respiratory disease and ensure that more can be done to prevent people from suffering from such problems.”

If you or a loved one has suffered from hearing damage such as acoustic shock, tinnitus, and noise-induced hearing loss caused by conditions at work our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.