Asthma care in England needs to be more proactive, researchers say

Despite 19 recommendations being made in the National Review of Asthma Deaths 2014 report, asthma care across England is still highly variable, research has shown

Lung function testing

An audit of data from Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group in England has found inconsistencies in asthma care that could leave high-risk patients unidentified and at risk of death[1]

The research looked at 50 general practices caring for 27,587 people with asthma in Bedfordshire.

The team identified several factors linked to asthma deaths, including excess short-acting reliever (e.g. salbutamol) and insufficient preventer (e.g. inhaled corticosteroid) prescriptions, as well as a lack of personal asthma action plans and annual reviews — including assessment of inhaler technique.

The audit was conducted in response to the National Review of Asthma Deaths 2014, which made 19 recommendations. However, the authors of this study have said these have not been fully implemented nationally.

They said they believed their findings were representative of the situation across the NHS in England.

“Modifications to existing systems within both primary and secondary care are required in order to prevent unnecessary deaths related to asthma,” the team wrote in Primary Care Respiratory Medicine (26 July 2018).

“There is a pressing need to move towards a more proactive model of care.”


[1] Levy M, Garnett F, Kuku A et al. A review of asthma care in 50 general practices in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. npj Prim Care Respir Med. 2018;28(29):1–6. doi: 10.1038/s41533-018-0093-7

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, October 2018, Vol 10, No 10;10(10):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20205414

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