Dr Gareth Walters MD FRCP FHEA

Dr Gareth Walters

Institute of Applied Health Research
Honorary Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Occupational Respiratory Medicine

Contact details

Birmingham Regional NHS Occupational Lung Disease Service
Birmingham Chest Clinic
151 Great Charles Street
B3 3HX

Gareth is an NHS consultant in occupational respiratory medicine and interstitial lung diseases in Birmingham, and leads the supra-regional NHS occupational lung disease service.  His research broadly concerns the aetiology and identification of occupational airways diseases and pneumoconiosis.


  • MD, Doctor of Medicine, University of Birmingham, 2015
  • Diploma in Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, 2014
  • MMedEd, Masters in Medical Education, University of Warwick, 2010
  • MRCP(UK) Royal College of Physicians, 2005
  • MB ChB, Medicine, University of Bristol, 2001
  • BSc (Hons) in Physiology, University of Bristol, 1998


Gareth has led the supra-regional Birmingham NHS occupational lung disease service since his appointment as a consultant in respiratory medicine at Heartlands Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic in 2015. He undertook postgraduate medical and higher specialist training in South Wales and the West Midlands before completing an MD at the Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at University of Birmingham with Professors Jon Ayres and Sherwood Burge, looking at barriers to the diagnosis of work-related asthma in primary care. 

He also led a regional interstitial lung disease (ILD) service in Birmingham until 2020, and still regularly chairs the ILD diagnostic MDT meetings. The NHS occupational lung disease service has recently been awarded the status of a World Allergy Organisation Centre of Excellence, until 2023. 

Gareth is currently a NIHR Research Scholar at UHB NHS Foundation Trust and undertaking research broadly in the areas of aetiology, diagnosis and outcome of exposure-related airway and interstitial lung diseases.  


Research interests

  • Aetiology and diagnosis of occupational and work-exacerbated asthma, and the role of peak expiratory flow measurements
  • Aetiology of sarcoidosis, and the role of respirable crystalline silica
  • Predictors of lung function decline in fibrotic lung diseases, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, asbestosis and combined pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema

Current projects

  • HANDS-ON ASTHMA (Health and Social Factors and their influence on asthma symptoms at work): A cross-sectional study to evaluate the influence of bio-psycho-social and cultural factors on the presence of work-exacerbated asthma (Funded by Colt Foundation; NIHR portfolio)
  • SANDSTONE (Sarcoidosis and Silica: A Study of Occupational Exposures): A case-control study of the occupational exposures associated with a diagnosis of pulmonary sarcoidosis
  • A qualitative study of the impact of bio-psychosocial and cultural factors on employment and work ability in patients with severe asthma

Other activities

  • 2022- present. NIHR research scholar
  • 2021-present. Member, Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC)
  • 2019-22. British Thoracic Society (BTS) Clinical Statement Group on occupational asthma
  • 2017-20. BOHRF Occupational asthma systematic evidence review group
  • 2015-18. BTS Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease Specialist Advisory Group
  • 2011-present. Group of Occupational Respiratory Disease Specialists (GORDS) UK


Recent peer-reviewed articles

Walters, G. I, Marsh, J., Bahron, A., Hussein, H., Krishna, M. T. and Mansur, A. H. (2022) Associations between employment and socio-demographic and health-related factors, in asthmatic patients assessed at a regional severe asthma service. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Practice, e-pub ahead of print. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2022.02.031.

Barber, C. M., Cullinan, P., Feary, J., Fishwick, D., Hoyle, J., Mainman, H. and Walters, G. I. (2022) British Thoracic Society Clinical Statement on occupational asthma. Thorax, 77(5), 433-42.

Huntley, C. C., Burge, P. S., Moore, V. C., Robertson, A. S. and Walters, G. I. (2022). Occupational asthma in office workers. Occupational Medicine, e-pub ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqac023.

Kongsupon, N., Walters, G. I. and Sadhra, S. 

S. (2021). Occupational causes of hypersensitivity pneumonitis: a systematic review and compendium. Occupational Medicine, 71(6-7): 255-9.

Walters, G. I. and Barber, C. M. (2021). Barriers to identifying occupational asthma among primary healthcare professionals: a qualitative study. BMJ Open Respiratory Research, 8(1), e000938.

Book chapters

Croft, E., Ahmed, R., Walters, G. and Jones, A. Chapter 6: Occupational Infections. In: Eds. Sadhra, S., Bray, A. and Boorman, S (2022). Oxford Handbook of Occupational Health, 3rd Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Walters, G., Fishwick, D. and Wynn, P. Chapter 7: Respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. In: Eds. Sadhra, S., Bray, A. and Boorman, S (2022). Oxford Handbook of Occupational Health, 3rd Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Merget, R., van Kampen, V., Gautrin, .D, Walters, G. I. and Malo, J-L. Metals. In: Eds: Tarlo, S. M., Vandenplas, O., Bernstein, D. I. and Malo, J-L (2021). Asthma in the Workplace, 5th Edition, Milton Park, Oxon: Taylor and Francis.

Walters, G. I. Work-exacerbated asthma. In: Eds. Feary, J., Soujahleto, H. and Cullinan, P (2020).  European Respiratory Society Monograph: Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease. Sheffield, ERS Publications.