NHS needs to 'move with the times' and embrace technology, charity calls

Responding to a report published today [Wednesday 20 February] by the Nuffield Trust and the Association for Young People’s Health which reveals that young people in the UK have healthier life choices but are more likely to die from asthma compared to those in Europe, Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said:

“It is appalling that young people in the UK are more likely to die from asthma compared to their peers in other developed countries. Lack of basic asthma care, difficulty in getting a GP appointment and complacency around asthma could all be to blame.

“Asthma UK’s research found that millennials in the UK are getting the worst asthma care of any age group, meaning thousands are needing emergency care for their asthma and are at a higher risk of dying from an asthma attack. More than two-thirds are not getting basic care, which includes a written asthma action plan, inhaler check and a yearly review, with many saying that they were not able to get a GP appointment.*

“We are now urging the NHS to move with the times and put technology at the heart of asthma management, helping to engage this tech-savvy generation. At the very least, patients should get appointment alerts sent to their smartphone. The NHS should ensure that patients data and records are linked to make sure asthma attacks are recorded, managed and prevented so people who have had an asthma attack in hospital get appropriate follow-up care from their GP.

“Asthma UK is leading the way in supporting younger people with asthma through technology by providing a nurse advice through WhatsApp. If anyone with asthma needs support they can contact Asthma UK’s nurses through WhatsApp. For more information, visit: https://www.asthma.org.uk/whatsapp .”

For further information, please contact:

Emma Warren, Senior Media Officer, Asthma UK

Landline: 0207 786 4982

OOO: 07951 721 393

ewarren@asthma.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

* In The reality of asthma care in the UK: Annual Asthma Survey 2018 included a survey of 10,064 people with asthma across the UK. 751 survey respondents were aged 18-29, and of those, 67% said they did not receive all elements of basic asthma care. This includes having a written asthma action plan, an annual review and an inhaler technique check.