Today is World Asthma Day, an event held each May by the Global Initiative for Asthma, (GINA) to raise awareness of asthma worldwide.
GINA says asthma is under-diagnosed and under-treated across the globe, creating a substantial burden to individuals and families and possibly restricting individuals’ activities for a lifetime. This year’s World Asthma Day theme is “Never too early never too late. It’s always the right time to address airways disease.” The theme provides a call to action for both healthcare providers and patients to evaluate symptoms and take actions to ensure that the asthma is controlled.
Duncan Keely, GP and PCRS-UK policy leads says ‘Despite our best efforts asthma still causes a large burden of avoidable suffering, and avoidable deaths. This is a global problem. In line with the theme of World Asthma Day it is never too early and never too late to try and improve the care we offer to, and the outcomes for, people with asthma. Make sure the diagnosis is made promptly and correctly, aim for the best control possible, and empower people to manage their own asthma safely and effectively. In this e-alert we flag up some of the resources from PCRS UK to support improvements in asthma care’.
What you can do:
- Ensure you are up to date with the latest guidance:
- Read this PCRS-UK consensus statement on key aspects of the diagnosis, management and monitoring of asthma to provide clarity for primary care clinicians faced with conflicting national guidelines. It focuses on the areas that vary substantially between the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the British Thoracic Society/Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) asthma guidelines, offering a workable solution. Asthma Guidelines in Practice – A PCRS-UK Consensus
Attend a refresher session on the lessons learned from the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD), at the PCRS-UK annual conference, Building confidence in a changing world 28-29 September, Telford International Centre. In addition to the clinical stream there are service development sessions, which will give you ideas for improving asthma services, practical workshop sessions to help you improve your hands-on skills such as inhaler technique and spirometry interpretation and the research stream where you will hear about the latest primary care research on asthma. View the programme and register now - early bird rates end 30th June.
- Reflect on how to support your patients with asthma to self-manage. Read these articles from the Winter issue of Primary Care Update:
- Professors' Hilary Pinnock and Stephanie Taylor special feature providing answers to the most common questions arising about what it is and how healthcare professionals can support and facilitate it.
- Andrew Whittamore, clinical Lead, Asthma UK, explains how technology can revolutionise supported self-management of asthma.
- A case study: Linda, a 57-year old lady with asthma gives a personal account of the impact of an episode of acute asthma. Is technology the answer, or patient support groups?