This site is intended for health professionals only

'Shocking' UK asthma hospital admissions

There are “shocking differences” in the number of people with asthma being admitted to hospital in an emergency depending on where they live. 

According to Asthma UK's figures from 2010-11, the admission rate for children in Liverpool was 19 times higher than in Tower Hamlets. 

The figures, released on World Asthma Day, also show “wide” variations in adult emergency admission rates, the charity said.

Adult hospital admissions also vary widely, with people in Newham being six times more likely to be hospitalised with their asthma than those in Bromley.

The figures, from the NHS Atlas of Variation: Respiratory Disease, show that the highest rate of adult emergency hospital admissions for the disease in England - 193 per 100,000 of population - was found in the London borough of Newham.

Dr Samantha Walker, Asthma UK's director of policy and research at Asthma UK, says: "Everyone with asthma deserves good quality care from knowledgeable healthcare professionals, irrespective of where they live. 

“Guidelines are in place to give doctors and nurses the information and advice they need to prevent asthma attacks and save lives. But According to national guidelines, everyone with asthma should receive a written asthma action plan from their doctor or asthma nurse, so they know what steps to take when their symptoms get worse. 

Those without an action plan are four times more likely to end up in hospital because of their asthma, the charity claims. However, only 12% of people with asthma actually have one.

People with asthma should also have an asthma review at least once a year, which can help them understand their 'triggers' and make sure their inhaler technique is correct. 

Yet one in five patients has not been invited by their doctor or nurse to have an annual check-up.