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Majority of asthma patients do not receive basic care

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The majority said their asthma control was poor The vast majority said their asthma was poorly controlled

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.’

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I can only sympathise with Lynne Brason. We have just completed 2 asthma audits for our Prescribing QIPP and one of the action points we are implementing is that ALL A&E and UCC reports will be work flowed to me for assessment and to bring the patients in for follow-up. It has been discussed in our Clinical Meeting and with the admin and reception staff. If feel everyone has to get on board to make it succeed and improve our asthma care.
Speak to your manager, it might encourage closer team work. Good Luck!
Posted by: ,
Obviously I can only comment on my area, but when patients are admitted to hospital as an emergency it is usually during 'out of hours.'
Unfortunately what occurs is the discharge letter take an inordinate amount of time to reach primary care, they are Only ever addressed to the GP ( rarely copied to the asthma nurses) , the GP then files the letter.
I cannot remember a single occasion of a GP sending me a task to say pt has been admitted/ or can you follow them up. The patient will rarely come in or call for appoint as they usually have been given x 2 ventolins by secondary care.
We have tried contacting A&E to have asthma nurses copied in to discharge letters but for what ever reason it rarely occurred.
Till a way can be found to have a seamless transition between secondary care to primary care, or a named liaison person or a recognition that GP surgeries have Asthma nurses who willbe the person who will follow the asthma attendance/ admission up and contacted, then this will continue.
Sadly I only find out on a yearly review, although some of my patients have read the Asthma plans I give them where I write in there .. please call me if you ever see a GP ir go to hospital with your asthma.
These patienrs get a good supportive care for many months after.

Asthma UK is an excellent resource for asthma patients and my patients leave every review with your information!
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