A Respiratory Dashboard has been developed by a group of respiratory specialists established by the NHS Business Services Authority to highlight the variation in prescribing across England.
The NHS spends more than £1 billion a year on inhaled respiratory medications. It is also known that a large proportion of hospital admissions and A&E attendances are as a result of asthma or COPD exacerbations. In many cases, these admissions and attendances may be avoided by managing patients appropriately in the community and ensuring that their inhaled medicines are prescribed and used optimally.
The aim of this dashboard is to highlight the variation in prescribing across the CCGs in England so that CCGs and local health economies can utilise this data at local level to decide if this variation is warranted or unwarranted and if and how they may wish to address this.
Whilst the data may demonstrate patterns in prescribing and spend on respiratory medicines, it is intended that the dashboard will help to generate discussion about respiratory prescribing within local health economies. This may then may then potentially help inform any future programmes of work or help to identify areas for future improvement in prescribing. It is also hoped that it will identify best practice that others can learn from.
The measures highlighted by the respiratory dashboard are:
- High dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) items as a % of all ICS items
- Inhaled steroid prevention including ICS and long acting beta agonists (LABA)
- Prescribing frequency of prednisolone 5mg tablets
- Prescribing of smoking cessation products.
- Excess short acting beta agonist (SABA) prescribing
- Patients on triple therapy
- Prescribing of montelukast