#AskAboutAsthma; three simple steps improve lives for asthma sufferers

1 in 10 children and young people in London have asthma but less than half of these have an asthma management plan or know how to use their inhaler correctly.

Healthy London Partnership and NHS England (London region), supported by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, are launching a campaign #AskAboutAsthma to help improve the lives of those living with asthma in the capital.

The campaign, which is launching to coincide with children and young people returning to school and the highest peak of hospital admissions for asthma, aims to encourage all children and young people to ask for advice to help them manage their asthma effectively. The three simple steps that can help:

#AskAboutAsthma is also asking all NHS organisations, businesses and residents in London to take simple steps to improve air quality. The asks are:

  • Encourage more exercise by walking to work/school.
  • Try car-pooling and turning off engines when idle.
  • Use non/less toxic materials in homes and offices.
  • Have greenery in and around homes and offices.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan says;

"London's toxic air is a health crisis. One in ten young people suffer with asthma - causing days off school and problems when exercising. As an asthma sufferer, I have to be constantly vigilant about the factors that trigger my asthma and take steps to manage them. I'm doing everything I can in London to clean up our air - and as Mayor of London, I'm supporting this campaign to encourage children, young people and their families to #AskAboutAsthma. Getting the right advice can help children to manage their asthma and live healthier, happier lives."

Dr Jacqueline Cornish OBE FRCP (London) Hon FRCPCH DSc (Hon), National Clinical Director, Children and Young People and Transition to Adulthood, NHS England says;

“I am delighted to support the Healthy London Partnership #AskAboutAsthma campaign. Asthma is the most common long term condition in children and is often not managed as well as it could be. 

“This campaign will raise awareness of the simple measures that make up effective asthma care.

“Aiming to enact the three principles of the campaign should see an improvement in outcome, experience, wellbeing and academic achievement through greater school attendance of all children with asthma in the country.

“My #AskAboutAsthma pledge is, ‘to improve the outcomes for children with asthma throughout England disseminating the excellent elements of Healthy London Partnership’s #AskAboutAsthma campaign.”

Vin Diwakar, Regional Medical Director, NHS England London says;

“Asthma is the most common childhood condition and can be managed very well through simple measures. However, in London every year 4,000 children and young people are admitted as an emergency to hospital as a result of an asthma attack. There are some excellent standards of asthma care provided for children and young people in London, but these standards need to be delivered more consistently across all care settings. Furthermore, Londoners need to be more aware of how to look after themselves and their children if they have asthma.

“As a paediatrician and Medical Director for London I am proud to see us launching the #AskAboutAsthma campaign to drive up awareness of the simple steps everyone can take to consistently provide excellent asthma care to children and young people and help them live healthier, more active lives.”

Dr Andy Whittamore, in house GP at Asthma UK, says;

 “We welcome the #AskAboutAsthma campaign, and hope that it will give more people with asthma the confidence to ask for the care they are entitled to. Using a written asthma action plan means a patient is four times less likely to be admitted to hospital, so it’s a really simple and effective way for people to stay on top of their symptoms.” 

The #AskAboutAsthma campaign will run from the 11th- 24th September and will be asking healthcare professionals, organisations and providers to make a My Asthma Pledge

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Healthy London Partnership formed in April 2015. It has been working across health and social care, and with the Greater London Authority, Public Health England, NHS England, London’s councils, clinical commissioning groups, and Health Education England. We have united to amplify the efforts of a growing community of people and organisations that believe it is possible to achieve a healthier, more livable global city by 2020.
  • Healthy London Partnership has developed a London Asthma Toolkit to support healthcare organisations and professionals to implement the The London asthma standards for children and young people
  • The NHS has produced a toolkit NHS Trusts: Air pollution reduction toolkit. This describes simple and free changes NHS organisations can make to reduce their contribution to London’s air pollution.
  • For further information please contact the Healthy London Partnership press office; Rachel Barnet on 07725 307306 or email rachel.barnet@nhs.net or Maria Vidal-Read on 07811 462287 or email maria.vidal-read@nhs.net