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Improving basic care

Millions are missing out on basic care  

Shockingly, our annual surveys have found that around 3 and a half million people with asthma do not receive basic levels of care - an annual review, written asthma action plan and inhaler technique check. Likewise, around 75% of people with COPD aren’t receiving the five fundamentals as recommended by NICE. 6 

Improving basic care would save lives 

It’s estimated that with better routine care two thirds of asthma deaths and one quarter of COPD deaths could be avoided. 7 

And the pandemic has made it even worse 

Over the past two years, many thousands of people have watched their health deteriorate while they wait for respiratory care, and diagnoses have plummeted due to a halt in testing.  

We need change 

  • NICE best practice guidelines for asthma and COPD care are not followed in a consistent or widespread manner. This needs to change, with everyone offered a tailored personal management plan and other elements of basic care. 
  • GP practices should offer a choice of video, phone, face-to-face and digital options for carrying out annual reviews with patients, considering patient preferences 
  • GP practices should identify patients at greatest risk through risk stratification and invite them to attend a review 
  • NHS England and the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should each develop a communication plan for patients, encouraging everyone to know who they should contact if they have new or worsening respiratory symptoms 
  • Patients who have been diagnosed without use of appropriate lung function tests must have their diagnosis confirmed with tests as soon as possible 
  • Commissioners should maintain new ways of delivering care and treatment which benefit patients 

 Share your story and help get asthma taken more seriously

Read more: backlog in care report  

Annual Asthma Survey 2020, 2019 & 2018