To coincide with the start of the new school year and the highest hospital admission rates for asthma (week 38), Healthy London Partnership and NHS England London is running #AskAboutAsthma to encourage small steps to help improve the quality of life for London’s children and young people living with asthma.
- Each child and young people with asthma having an asthma management plan
- Each child and young people with asthma being able to use their inhalers effectively
- Each child and young people with asthma having an annual asthma review
Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition affecting children and young people. 1 in 10 children and young people are affected by the condition, meaning 240,000 have asthma in London. Many have badly managed asthma – to the extent that 4,000 are admitted to hospital with asthma every year and 170 have such a severe episode that they require admission to intensive care.
At the worst end of the spectrum around 12 children and young people die of this disease in the capital every year. Poorly controlled asthma affects every aspect of children and young people’s lives – their ability to learn, enjoy time outside school with friends or take part in sport. It affects their time with their families and how they sleep.
We have developed a set of ambitions for how asthma care should be delivered across the city. The London asthma standards for children and young people bring together these ambitions for London with national and local standards.
The online London asthma toolkit is available to support healthcare professionals, commissioners, schools, parents, carers, children and young people in London implement the asthma standards for children and young people
There are three very simple measures that if used consistently for all children and young people with asthma would have a massive impact on quality of life for these children and young people.
- The use of a written asthma action plan drawn up between a clinician and asthma sufferer means people are four times less likely to have to go to hospital for their asthma. Only 28 – 48% of children and young people with asthma in London have an asthma plan
- Ensuring every child or young person (and their families/carers) understands how to use their inhaler effectively. Less than ¾ of children and young people have any form of instruction in how to use their inhalers meaning they may not be getting the full benefit of their asthma medication
- An annual asthma review that will ensure those with asthma have effective regular review of their condition and management
London suffers from high levels of air pollution. Air pollution acts as a trigger for many children and young people with asthma, contributing to asthma admissions and intensive care admissions, and possible some asthma deaths.
To provide support for this, we have produced a toolkit NHS Organisations: Air pollution reduction toolkit. This describes simple and free changes NHS organisations can make to reduce their contribution to London’s air pollution.
We are asking people to help support children and young people with asthma by describing their own or organisational contribution to improving asthma care through #MyAsthmaPledge.
Visit our asthma pledges page to pledges by organisations and individuals.