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Asthma sufferers face postcode lottery when receiving basic care

Asthma sufferers face postcode lottery when receiving basic care

Some patients with asthma are still not receiving the basic care they need to manage their condition, according to a new report
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Some patients with asthma are still not receiving the basic care they need to manage their condition, according to a new report by Asthma UK.

The report found that seven out of ten people with asthma who were hospitalised were not given a follow-up appointment with a GP or nurse.

The charity said this is “an essential step” in preventing many people from being readmitted.

Of the 4,650 people who responded to the survey from across the UK, 42% were given an asthma action plan in 2016 – up from 36% last year and 24% in 2013.

In a statement Asthma UK said the “positive trend is welcome” but the large number of people who don’t have an asthma action plan is “concerning”.

A patient without an action plan is four times more likely to end up in hospital with an asthma attack, according to the report.

The charity also found that 27% of people miss a week or more of work or education a year because of their asthma, while nearly two thirds of patients who pay for prescriptions say this impacts on their ability to pay for other things.

Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s Clinical Lead and in-house GP, said: “Good asthma care means having a thorough asthma review, being on the right medication, knowing how to use your inhaler correctly and having a written asthma action plan.

“It is worrying that basic care is not being delivered on a consistent basis, because every person with asthma should be receiving this care.”

Northern Ireland was the highest performing part of the UK for the provision of basic asthma care, with 48% of NI respondents saying they had received adequate care.

Only 28% of people with asthma in London said they received basic asthma care, the lowest in the UK.

Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK: “With the 2014 National Review of Asthma Deaths reporting 2 out of 3 asthma deaths are preventable with good basic care, it is hugely disappointing that the latest Asthma UK care survey shows little has changed since that damning report.”

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