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Two thirds of asthma patients 'not receiving basic care'

Only a third of patients with asthma have an annual review, a written action plan and education on correctly using inhalers, a survey has suggested.

Asthma UK's annual survey of 4,500 patients with asthma found that just 33.5% had received all three in the last year, with the remainder missing out on 'basic' care according to the charity.

It also found that 70% of patients who had attended hospital or received out-of-hours care for their asthma had not had a follow-up appointment with their GP.

But although over 80% of respondents had poorly-controlled asthma, just under a third felt their asthma affected their ability to do activities they wanted to.

Asthma UK’s report said its survey showed that ‘there are still unacceptable variations in care that contribute to the impact of asthma on both people’s lives and wider society’.

But the charity also acknowledged the importance of patients being proactive in managing their asthma.

It said patients should know what to expect and discuss at an annual review and should educate themselves on emergency asthma care.

It comes as a recent report suggested that a third of GPs and respiratory nurses do not think that patients are taking enough responsibility for their asthma.

To help resolve the issue of a lack of asthma action plans, Asthma UK says it is ‘calling for digital asthma action plans to be incorporated into personal health records and GP computer systems’.

Readers' comments (3)

  • that is great.

    so what exactly has asthma UK done to lobby for increased support for primary care in order to improve care for asthma sufferers? how is asthma UK working with primary care to improve the care to asthma patients apart from recurrent negative reporting?

    if a problem has been identified why are the paediatric and respiratory teams not proactively following up their patients who come into hospital? surely secondary care should also carry some of this responsibility.

    what study has asthma UK done into the reasons for why these things are not done?

    what is asthma UK's solution? who will input data into the personal action plan?

    that is fine. join the list of GP bashers, but to be honest I don't really want to engage with them anymore and also I am not going to be recommending their work to my patients. very sorry state of affairs unfortunately for a charity that I used to admire.

    - anonymous salaried!

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  • We invite them, they do not come. They are busy with life. So many of our slots are unfilled. There has been a 50% reduction in GP land funding, but we still do our best.

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  • Obviously patients are not that bothered by their asthma as everyone else with the tiniest of health related dissatisfaction with their life manages to come and see us!

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