New Safety Report on Management of Chronic Asthma in Children

Priscilla Lynch 

May 07, 2021

A new report by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) highlights how diagnosing and managing long-term asthma in children up to 16 years can be complex, particularly in younger children, and makes a series of recommendations to improve care.

The investigation was launched after HSIB identified a near-fatal asthma attack in a five-year-old child, who previously had no formal diagnosis of asthma and where issues had been identified (but not resolved) regarding treatment adherence.

Launched on World Asthma Day (May 5), the HSIB final report makes seven safety recommendations:

  1.  NHS England and NHS Improvement, as a commissioning body, should support local systems to implement evidence based interventions, such as standardised information and wheeze management plans, for the parents/carers of pre-school children. This will be undertaken in conjunction with the British Paediatric Respiratory Society.

  2. NHS England and NHS Improvement should review the recommendations arising from the National Review of Asthma Deaths to prioritise and ensure the implementation of recommendations that are outstanding.

  3. NHS England and NHS Improvement should support clinical experts to work with professional bodies to develop training competencies for health care professionals with responsibility for caring for children with suspected or confirmed asthma.

  4. NHS England and NHS Improvement and NHSX should identify and integrate data items into information technology systems to develop a greater understanding of the risk factors present in the community.

  5. NHS Digital should review the supporting information for triaging breathless children up to 16 years of age, to determine whether there are features of life-threatening breathing difficulty.

  6. NHSX, supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement, should implement a discovery programme into the roadmap for the digital personal child health record focused on developing support, self-reporting and alerting for asthma self-care.

  7. PHE should develop resources for young people and their parents/carers to raise awareness and enable them to self-manage asthma more effectively.

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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