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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’.


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