More resources needed to properly support patients with asthma, says RCGP

Publication date: 09 August 2019

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to report by Asthma UK, which found that the number of asthma deaths have increased by a third in the last decade in England and Wales.

She said: "It's deeply concerning to hear that the death toll for asthma, a manageable long-term condition, in England and Wales is the highest it's been for a decade – and it is right that addressing this should be a priority for the Government and the NHS.

"Asthma is a common condition in general practice and GPs and their nursing teams understand the importance of carefully managing patients with asthma, including through the use of personal asthma action plans, as well as encouraging patients to undergo regular reviews.

"It is also vitally important that patients understand their own treatment and how to properly use equipment, such as inhalers, peak flow meters, and spacer devices - and GPs and our teams play an important role in ensuring patients of all ages feel more confident about managing their asthma appropriately and effectively. It is also essential that patients always have access to their prescription medication and do not allow inhalers to run out or expire before they ask for replacement prescriptions.

"The College has created several eLearning resources to support GPs in identifying, treating and managing asthma, and it is a key condition in the GP curriculum that all trainee GPs must demonstrate competence of before they are able to practise independently as a GP in the UK.

"Ultimately, we need more GPs and more members of the practice team so that we can spend longer with our patients with asthma.

"That's why we need to see more investment injected into primary care, the delivery of the NHS Long-Term Plan, and further details about how the proposals in the interim People Plan will be achieved, to ensure GPs and our teams can continue to provide the comprehensive care our all of patients, including those with respiratory conditions, need and deserve."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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