Two thirds of asthma patients not getting basic care, charity warns

Millions of asthma patients are being put at risk as they are not receiving basic levels of care to keep their condition in check, a charity has warned.

Two thirds of sufferers are not being given fundamental care that is needed to manage their condition, Asthma UK said.

This is around 3.6 million people across the UK.

In 2015, 1,468 people died from the condition - the highest number for more than a decade.

The charity said that two thirds of asthma deaths are preventable with the right basic care.

Full provision of this care would "reduce the impact of asthma, reduce hospital admissions and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people", according to a new report by the charity.

Basic care includes having an appropriate asthma review at least once a year, or more for severe cases and children, being on the right medication and knowing how to use it and having a written asthma action plan.

The Annual Asthma Survey, based on responses from 4,650 patients from around the UK, found that there is variation in the proportion of people receiving basic care across the country - with some areas "lagging behind others".

Just 27.5% patients received all recommended care in London Credit: PA

Patients in Northern Ireland appeared to get the best basic care, where 47.6% patients received all elements of recommended care.

The lowest proportion was in London, where just 27.5% patients received this care.

But the authors cautioned that it is not just this basic care that is "failing people with asthma".

The report states that seven out of 10 patients who required hospital care or out-of-hours treatment did not have a follow-up appointment.

The authors said: "Correct discharge arrangements after a hospital stay for asthma saves lives, and this is a particularly worrying finding."

There are around 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK.

"It is worrying that basic care is not being delivered on a consistent basis, because every person with asthma should be receiving this care," said the charity's clinical lead Dr Andy Whittamore.