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Poor medical care risk for asthmatics in Bradford and Yorkshire
Poor medical care is putting people at risk of serious asthma attacks, a charity has warned.
A new report by Asthma UK rates the care given to a third (32 per cent) of asthmatics in Yorkshire and the Humber as ‘poor’.
But the Bradford district is being held up as an example of where real improvements are being made.
According to guidelines, everyone with asthma should be given a written action plan from their doctor or asthma nurse, so they know what steps to take when their symptoms get worse.
Those without an action plan are four times more likely to end up in hospital with an asthma attack, the charity said.
But according to Asthma UK’s Compare Your Care report, only one in five asthmatics in Yorkshire and the Humber had been given an action plan.
Nationally, 35 per cent of asthmatics were said to be getting poor care, while one-in-five patients said nobody had made sure they knew how to use their inhaler, the report said.
Every day in the UK, about 180 people are hospitalised because of asthma, and an average of three die.
But according to the charity, three-quarters of hospital admissions could be prevented with the right care and management.
Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK, said: “Guidelines are in place to give doctors and nurses the information and advice they need to prevent asthma attacks and save lives, but people with asthma tell us that these are being routinely neglected.”
In the Bradford district, the three Clinical Commissioning Groups – which oversee GP surgeries – have teamed up with the district’s two hospital trusts to drive up standards.
The project has involved promoting self-management plans for patients, giving extra training to GPs and practice nurses and holding focus groups with young asthmatics to find out what they think of the care they receive.
As a result, the number of patients whose asthma has been assessed as ‘well controlled’ has risen from 70 per cent to 94 per cent. And the number of patients with a written action plan has gone up from 12 per cent to 29 per cent.
In their report, Asthma UK used it as an example of where real improvements had been made.
It said: “Results from the project are promising for both children and adults.”
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