©Iain McLean/cystic fibrosis trust

Richard Simpson MSP, Labour representative for Mid Scotland and Fife had their lung function tested to see how their result compared with someone with Cystic Fibrosis to highlight the devastating impact of the disease.

The event, held on 16th May organised by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, indicated to parliamentarians first hand how Cystic Fibrosis damages the lungs. The average lung capacity for an adult with Cystic Fibrosis is just 65.1% compared to someone without Cystic Fibrosis that would achieve results of 80% or more.  Mr Simpson achieved 97% on their spirometry test coming in 10th place amongst their fellow MSPs.

Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive disease with the average age of death for a person with CF of around 29 years old.  Despite this, because of advances in treatment and access to clinical expertise, many people with CF are living longer than ever before.

Richard Simpson MSP said:

“I am delighted to attend the event to show my support for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Having my lung function tested has shown me how much more effort people with CF have to make just to take a breath. I can see how arduous the burden of treatment is to try to stop lung function from declining. It highlighted to me just what a battle it is living with this condition that claims two young lives a week”.

Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common inherited conditions, affecting over 9,000 babies, children and adults. CF is caused by a faulty gene that causes the lungs, digestive system and pancreas clogging them with a thick sticky mucus.

Claire Francis, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the CF Trust said:

“Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that is difficult to comprehend as people with the condition can look healthy and active. Through our events in and around Cystic Fibrosis Week 2012 we hope to show politicians how the disease affects the body and how important daily treatment and expert care is to help people live longer lives and improve their quality of life.

“People with Cystic Fibrosis don’t get a second chance once the damage is done. Providing the best quality of care is crucial to maintaining lung function.

Indeed, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust is aware of worrying trends that amount to real-time cuts to Cystic Fibrosis services across the UK – to specialist nursing, physiotherapy and dietetics – that risk stalling the amazing progress that has been made. To ensure this doesn’t happen, we are calling on the Scottish Government to ensure Cystic Fibrosis services are adequately resourced with appropriate bed capacity suitable for people with Cystic Fibrosis”.

Cystic Fibrosis Week, which runs each year from the end of April to 1st week in May. More information can be found at