This year will be the third year I have participated in the Ask About Asthma campaign. For me it’s an important campaign because, it raises awareness that having asthma doesn’t have to mean having to limit a child.
I want every child with asthma in NCL to fulfil their potential, irrespective of their long-term condition and the best way they can do this is to be in control of their asthma. As such, I aim to have every child with asthma at my surgery take these three simple steps:
- Meet with your GP or Practice Nurse to create an asthma management plan. The plan helps you identify the right colour inhaler and dosage at the right time and the time to seek emergency help
- Check with your GP, nurse or pharmacist that you know how to use your inhaler effectively – this will mean that the medicine it getting into your lungs and doing what it’s meant to do
- Ensure you meet with your GP or nurse every year to talk through your plan, your triggers and how you are coping at an annual asthma review
As well as working with individual children and their families, an important part of my role is as a local leader and in that respect, I chair the NCL Paediatric Asthma Network.
The network is a group of colleagues who’s work can help to deliver our aim of supporting children, young people and their families with asthma to receive the appropriate treatment, at the right time and right place and enable them to remain as well as possible.
The network is made up of a wider group than just doctors, nurses and pharmacists. We also have colleagues from housing, schools, leisure, air quality and a patient representative in our network. A wide network is important because we know that many areas can either help or hinder a child’s wellbeing and impact their participation in day to day activities.
We talk to family groups and children as part of our borough plans to make sure we are doing things that will make a positive difference to their overall wellbeing. The insights that we get from the family perspective are invaluable and shape all of our work.
That’s why we are working to deliver Asthma Friendly Schools, working with our council colleagues to reduce the impact of air pollution, connecting residents and housing teams where our young asthmatics are affected by damp and mould and working to make sure children and young people can fully participate in sport and leisure.
By working across boroughs and different organisation to improve engagement and communication, training and development and oversight and monitoring, we are becoming stronger together and more capable of delivering better care and outcomes for the 30,000 asthmatic children we care for.