The final steps have been taken to enable the merger to go ahead, which the charities have said will ‘bring significant benefits for those with lung disease’.
Around 10,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with a lung disease each week, leading to more than 700,000 hospital admissions each year.
Asthma UK members voted in favour of the move at the beginning of the month, followed by British Lung Foundation trustees this week.
The new partnership will build on previous collaboration between the two organisations, including air quality campaigning and respiratory health research, and is expected to reduce running costs by as much as £2m.
Chief executive of the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership Kay Boycott says the move creates an organisation fit for the future:
“This marks the start of a new era which promises to bring significant benefits to people affected by asthma and other lung diseases.
“Bringing together our joint vision and strategy will allow us to make even more impact, with more money to spend on ground-breaking research and support.
“Our new organisation will combine the energy and passion of the UK’s top respiratory health charities, creating a powerful voice for change.
“It is an absolute privilege to be the first chief executive of the new organisation leading the start-up of this innovative new venture.”
Leading experts in asthma and lung health are publicly supporting the merger – including the University of Aberdeen’s Professor of general practice, Sir Lewis Ritchie and the University of Edinburgh primary care research and development chair, Professor Aziz Sheikh – saying it will bring real benefits to patients now and in years to come.
The core charitable activities of both organisations – research programmes, campaigning, helplines, and websites –will continue and the British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK brands will still be used.