North London Partners in health and care

Improving asthma care in Camden

Shema Begum
Strategic Commissioning Manager

Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, we were the first borough in North Central London to produce a local strategy for supporting children affected by asthma.We set up a steering group made up of representatives across the council and NHS to think about where we needed to focus our limited resources.

This year we’re pursuing the introduction and sustainable delivery of an Asthma Friendly Schools (AFS) initiative across Camden. It means all schools in the borough will be supported to deliver five key standards; all of which aim to keep children healthy and safe in school.

We’re also going to offer schools a first, free, emergency inhaler kit alongside a starter resource pack to help (and hopefully incentivise) universal rollout of the programme.

In addition to AFS, we’ve been looking at asthma prevalence by GP Practice, hospital admissions and emergency department attendances and considering this alongside wider determinants of health including smoking prevalence, air quality and housing tenure to identify geographical areas where it makes sense to target some activities first.

We want to test and measure the impact before wider rollout, so we are clear about what works for us locally.

In the coming months we’ll be engaging the Primary Care Networks in those areas to deliver more training to clinical staff and help look at systems for post-attack review and follow up.

Our aim is to improve diagnosis, prescribing, and asthma control, and to do this in a co-ordinated way. Anything we do with primary care will be part of our wider local intervention in schools, children’s centres, and community asthma. It would also be a step towards delivering more proactive and tailored support with at risk asthmatics to improve health outcomes in the future.