Asthma sufferers not receiving proper care
New research has reported that asthma sufferers in Wales and the South West are not receiving the basic treatment required. The survey, which was commissioned by the charity Asthma UK, discovered that 79% of asthma sufferers received care below the national standard average. In previous guidelines, Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt pledged that patients with long term conditions like asthma would have a plan by 2015. Asthma sufferers are meant to be given an “asthma action plan” which helps them control their condition. Around 70% of patients had not received this plan the survey reported.
Six months ago the National Review of Asthma Deaths discovered that almost half of asthma fatalities could have been prevented with more efficient and routine care.
What is interesting to note is that cost of an emergency admission for asthma is 23 times the cost of an annual review. However the research noted that a quarter of asthma sufferers had not received an annual review in the last year. If this type of review was more strictly enforced it would prevent both serious asthma issues and issues within the health service.
One potential solution to the problem has been proposed by a Welsh Government spokesman who outlined a three year plan (Respiratory Health Delivery Plan). This plan involves all asthma patients having self-management plans and guidelines on preventing poor respiratory health, detecting respiratory disease quickly and delivering the proper treatment when needed.
Kay Boycott, the chief executive of Asthma UK commented on the survey with the following –
“This means that there is an asthma postcode lottery; one where the gamble really is life or death.
There would be a national outcry if guidelines weren’t followed for other conditions; we absolutely have to end the complacency surrounding asthma care.
We know that there are examples of good practice out there so we urge NHS leaders at national and local level to ensure these are rolled out across the UK and adopted urgently.
It’s simple common sense- providing basic care will save money and save lives”.
Asthma UK is running a campaign which aims for every person with asthma to be give a written action plan and that they receive national standard care. You can find more information about the campaign here www.asthma.org.uk/takeaction-campaign.
 “86% of Asthma sufferers in Wales are not receiving suitable care, new research shows”, Mark Smith, Wales Online, http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/we-end-complacency-surrounding-asthma-8187863
 “8 out of 10 asthma patients in South West receiving sub-standard care”, Western Morning News, http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/8-10-asthma-patients-South-West-receiving-sub/story-24789202-detail/story.html
 “Majority of asthma patients ‘not getting adequate care”, ITV News, http://www.itv.com/news/2014-11-28/majority-of-asthma-patients-not-getting-adequate-care/