Leicester doctor reducing asthma admissions

Posted by ap507 at Apr 26, 2016 02:38 PM |
University of Leicester involved in compiling care check list

Issued on 25 April 2016

A Leicester doctor has played a key role in a new national drive to reduce asthma deaths and hospital admissions.

Dr Hitesh Pandya, who is a Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Respiratory at the University of Leicester, helped compile a care check list for treating asthma patients in NHS hospitals across the country.

The initiative was created in response to the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) which found that 10 per cent of asthma deaths happened within just one month of discharge from hospital following treatment.

Dr Pandya said: “We believe that if hospital staff start implementing just five simple steps we could see a huge reduction in future life-threatening attacks and hospital admissions, which will save lives and money.

“We have devised a simple check list which is a series of research-based actions that if systematically delivered by health professionals, can really improve the health of patients. The concept has already been used successfully to improve the care and treatment of chronic lung disease (COPD) patients.” 

The document is a joint initiative between the British Thoracic Society (BTS) and Asthma UK.

The five steps suggest that all people who are discharged from hospital following a severe asthma attack must have their inhaler techniques checked, their medication reviewed, a written asthma action plan must be provided, all factors that might trigger or worsen their condition must be considered and timely follow up arrangements in the community must be delivered.

Dr John White, BTS member and Consultant Respiratory Physician, York NHS Foundation Trust, who led the group that created the document, said the discharge of asthma patients from hospital provided a “golden window of opportunity” to review their care.

He said: “Using all of the latest evidence, we have devised five simple and effective actions that hospital-based health professionals can take to promote better patient self-management and reduce hospital readmissions.” 

Dr Lisa Davies, Consultant Respiratory Physician, University Hospital Aintree NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool and Chair of the British Thoracic Society’s Executive Committee, said: “It is a tragedy that so many people die from asthma each year in UK. It is a treatable disease and we must do much better to tackle it across the NHS.”

Kay Boycott, who is Chief Executive of Asthma UK, said: “These simple steps, if taken by hospital staff, could make the difference between life and death to people with asthma.”

Recent audits conducted by the British Thoracic Society which looked at how well NHS hospitals manage children who have been admitted to hospital for asthma, found that only 53 per cent were being given a written asthma plan, and less than half had their inhaler technique checked.

A total of 5.4 million people are currently being treated for asthma in the UK and treating the condition costs the NHS around £1 billion a year.

Dr Pandya is also affiliated to the NIHR Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit. The unit focuses on promoting the development of new and effective therapies for the treatment of respiratory diseases including severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Notes to editors

For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email oliver.jelley@ojpr.co.uk or Fiona.bailey@ojpr.co.uk

  • The BTS Asthma Discharge Care Bundle can be downloaded from www.brit-thoracic.org.uk/audit-and-quality-improvement/asthma-care-bundle-2016/
  • The British Thoracic Society (BTS) is the UK’s professional body of respiratory specialists.  The Society seeks to improve standards of care for people who have respiratory diseases and to support and develop those who provide that care.  A registered charity, it has over 3,000 members including doctors, nurses, respiratory physiotherapists, scientists and other professionals with a respiratory interest.
  • Asthma UK is the leading charity that works to stop asthma attacks and, ultimately, cure asthma by funding world-leading research and scientists, campaigning for change and supporting people with asthma to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.
  • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit http://www.nihr.ac.uk.
  • The NIHR Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit based at Glenfield Hospital is a partnership between University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.  In 2012 the respiratory research department became part of a multi-million pound government investment by the NIHR, to become one of only twenty BRUs within England. The Unit will focus on promoting the development of new and effective therapies for the treatment of respiratory diseases including severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  The funding has allowed the development of a specially designed unit including clinical space and specialist team allowing first class investigations into lung disease   http://www.leicsrespiratorybru.nihr.ac.uk/


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