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“Unacceptable” differences in UK asthma admissions


8 May, 2008  

A British asthma charity has released a report which reveals substantial differences in the numbers of emergency hospital admissions for children with asthma across the UK.

The recent report by Asthma UK was timed to coincide with World Asthma Day on 6 May.

Emergency hospital admissions are very costly and form a significant part of the estimated £1 billion cost of asthma to the NHS each year.

Emergency hospital admissions for asthma for both children and adults cost the NHS £61 million per year. However, 75% of admissions are avoidable through effective asthma management and routine care, according to Asthma UK.

On average, a child is admitted to hospital because of their asthma every 16 minutes in the UK. Asthma UK’s report shows that in England, the region with the highest emergency admissions for children’s asthma is the north west and the east of England has the lowest.

Neil Churchill, Chief Executive of Asthma UK said: “These figures paint a disturbing picture of the impact of asthma on children’s lives, suggesting that not all children are getting the same access to vital asthma services, such as a local specialist asthma nurse.

“These divisions are unacceptable, particularly the staggering eight fold difference in admissions in England. If asthma is not controlled effectively, the effects can be devastating and in some cases fatal, which is why reducing the hospital admissions of people with asthma is a key aim for Asthma UK.”

Asthma UK