More than 70% of people hospitalised due to asthma are not given a follow up appointment in general practice, a report by Asthma UK has found.
The report surveyed 4650 asthma patients, discovering that 82% believed their asthma was poorly controlled, while more more than a quarter of people miss a week or more of work or education a year because of their asthma.
The survey highlighted several geographic variations in the number of people receiving basic asthma care across the UK. In Northern Ireland, 47.6% of respondents stated they receive care for their condition, compared to just 27.5% in London.
‘Good asthma care means having a thorough asthma review, being on the right medication, knowing how to use your inhaler correctly and having a written asthma action plan,’ said Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s clinical lead. ‘It is worrying that basic care is not being delivered on a consistent basis, because every person with asthma should be receiving this care.'
Variations were also noted in the provision of asthma plans and education on correct inhaler technique. Nearly 60% of patients in Northern Ireland reported having a written plan, while London was again the lowest, with 37.4% having a plan. Furthermore, while over 80% of respondents in Scotland had their inhaler technique checked, 72.8% in the London region had.
‘With the 2014 National Review of Asthma Deaths reporting two out of three asthma deaths are preventable with good basic care, it is hugely disappointing that the latest Asthma UK care survey shows little has changed since that damning report,’ said Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK. ‘It is clear that expecting old ways to tackle long-standing problems won't work.’