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Taking on the Wheeze Monsters

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UK children have one of the world’s highest rates of asthma. Is it time for a better conversation with them?

Heather Henry, a nurse entrepreneur, and former co-chair of the NHS Alliance has set up a new project, BreathChamps, with the goal of creating a method for practice nurses to educate children with asthma on management of their condition in an entertaining manner. Here, she details the origins of the project, and why it could be the next big idea in patient education.

How did the project start?

I was asked to work on a project in Eccles near Salford where seven practices would work in partnership with their patients on three problems. One of these was children’s asthma. Working with the staff and the patients of Eccles we decided we would try out ‘asthma parties’ – which are group consultations for children with asthma. We used a very well-known improvement, which is basically saying try things out at the smallest level possible and then make improvements, and try again. We started out by having an asthma party in our steering group.

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