PERFORMANCE: A project to improve support for children with asthma has improved services and reduced costs, according to Asthma UK.

The Local Asthma Impact Project focused on patients of GP practices with higher than average hospital admissions for children with asthma. A group of practices in Hull and Leeds provided a local enhanced service to improve care; while other practices in Wakefield and Kirklees took part in a “best practice pilot”.

Innovations included:

  • Providing pocket guides containing information about what to do if a child was having an asthma attack (2,000 of these have been delivered to every school team across the region)
  • Training sessions for school staff (over half of the school nursing teams in the region have received training)
  • A programme of support including information and resources to hold an asthma assembly in school (over half of the school areas in the region have adopted these)
  • asthma policy templates for schools (provided to over half of the school areas)
  • emergency procedure guides for staff (provided to all of the school areas).

An Asthma UK statement said evidence of improvement included, at one Wakefield practice, a reduction of 58% in hospital admissions for people with asthma. Across Wakefield and Hull, a group of four practices saved the NHS more than £13,450 (based on a reduction in hospital admissions) over the course of a year, the statement said. Patients also reported improvements in their care.

The project was run by Yorkshire and Humber and Asthma UK. Results were due to be presented at a Child Asthma Summit in Wakefield on 20 March.