Supporting Primary Healthcare Professionals
Asthma is common – the UK has the highest prevalence of asthma in the world with about 1 in 10 children and Young People in the UK suffering from it.
There is still a lot to be done to improve asthma care in our country. There are inequalities in asthma care with significant differences in outcomes between different geographical areas and looked at as a whole, the UK has the worst asthma outcomes in Europe.
If asthma is mild, the symptoms may not be too intrusive and, particularly if people take their asthma medications correctly, they can have no symptoms at all. As a result, a lot of people don’t worry about asthma or don’t take symptoms too seriously.
But not all asthma is mild, and even mild asthma that is not properly treated can impact on a child’s quality of life. Many children and young adults continue to suffer potentially avoidable symptoms from asthma.
If asthma is left untreated then some of the narrowing of the airways that occurs can become fixed and permanent. This is especially a worry in children as it can prevent normal lung growth and leave them with significant problems in adult life.
And, although asthma is generally mild, occasionally it can be life threatening. Even children diagnosed with mild asthma can have life threatening attacks. This is usually because of an underappreciation of the significance of symptoms by both health care professionals and patients alike and failure of health professionals to follow national recommendations and empower patients to self-manage their asthma.
Sadly, every year approximately 20-30 children and young people in the UK die from their asthma. Approximately half of those who died were bring cared for in primary care at the time of their death. A recent review of all asthma deaths in the UK showed there were a number of avoidable factors in a majority of these deaths. Educating families and young people to know more about asthma and how to recognise when things are starting to go wrong, and ensuring we as professionals adhere to national recommendations could have made a difference to these children.
BeatAsthma has been created to address this.
On this site, you will find all the information and resources you need to deliver consistently high quality paediatric asthma care in your practice meeting all national standards and recommendations.