Breathlessness guide history

Document Title

Managing chronic breathlessness

Document Date

March 2024

Document Purpose and Intended Audience

To support specialist palliative care clinicians in hospices, hospital trusts and in the community to manage chronic breathlessness.


Dr Helen Ward
Respiratory & Acute Medicine Consultant
The Royal Wolverhampton Trust


Dr Jane Reynolds
Consultant in Palliative Medicines, Dudley

Dr Anna Lock
Palliative Medicine Consultant, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust

Dr Esther Waterhouse
Consultant in Palliative Medicines, Walsall

Dr Fran Hakkak
Consultant Palliative Care & Medical Director Compton Care

Dr Shahid Nadeem
Respiratory Consultant, Walsall

Dr Philip Brammer
Respiratory Consultant, Clinical Lead for Dudley Respiratory Assessment Team

Joanne Hamilton
Respiratory Nurse Specialist

Elaine Cook
Independent Nurse Specialist, Respiratory PCCLE Black Country ICB

Mandy Hamilton
Respiratory Facilitator/Co-Ordinator

Kelly Redden-Rowley
Community Cardio-Respiratory Clinical Lead, Sandwell

Jaqui Elson-Whittaker
Clinical Lead Nurse, Dudley Heart Failure Team

Russell Tipson
Director of Action Heart Sara Morley Services Manager Palliative and End of Life Care/Clinical Lead Specialist Palliative Care Therapies Team

Emma Hayward
Specialist Physiotherapist in Palliative Care Sharon Wood ICP Commissioning Manager

Claire Morrissey
Community Digital Health Programme Lead, Black Country ICB

Consultation Process

Circulated to SPAGG group for comments and approval


This guideline will be audited by members of the group every 3 years.

Review Date

(must be within three years)

November 2025 ???

Approval Signatures:

SPAGG chair

Dr Jon Tomas

SPAGG secretary

Dr Alice Gray

Date Approved by SPAGG: March 2018??

Date submitted to Area Prescribing Committee: N/A

Version History

Version 2


January 2023

Summary of change/ process

Spelling correction and addition of sodium chloride wording

Version 3?


December 2023

Summary of change/ process

Editing of relevant services contact information

Version 3.9.9 (mixed version numbers in footer of current doc)??


March 2024

Summary of change/ process

Editing of relevant services contact information

Disclaimer (SPAGG - Rewrite)

This Guide is intended for use by healthcare professionals and the expectation is that they will use clinical judgement, medical, and nursing knowledge in applying the general principles and recommendations contained within. They are not meant to replace the many available texts on the subject of palliative care.

Some of the management strategies describe the use of drugs outside their licensed indications. They are, however, established and accepted good practice. Please refer to the current BNF for further guidance.

While WMPCPS takes every care to compile accurate information , we cannot guarantee its correctness and completeness and it is subject to change. We do not accept responsibility for any loss, damage or expense resulting from the use of this information.