Caroline Smith, of Whitchurch, travelled to Westminster week to meet her local MP, Sir George Young, to discuss what can be done to reduce asthma deaths and improve asthma services, both locally and nationally.
‘It was great to be able to speak to Sir George about how asthma has affected my whole life. I don’t think people really understand just how painful and terrifying it is when you have an asthma attack. It’s wrong that three people die every day because of asthma; that’s why I’m asking Sir George to write to Andrew Lansley on my behalf to ensure the needs of people with asthma are met.’
Sir George said he learned a lot from meeting Caroline and talking to her about early diagnosis, effective treatment and adequate support so as to enable asthma sufferes to have a high quality of life.
"In Caroline's case, an appointment with a consultant at Basingstoke, who knew all about asthma, led to a prescription which enables Caroline to manage her condition more effectively. Carolin also told me of the high quality of care she got from the Medical Centre in Whitchurch."
This autumn, the Secretary of State will be telling the NHS which areas to focus on. Asthma UK would like Andrew Lansley MP to prioritise the following key areas:
• Self management – Asthma UK wants health care professionals to help people to manage their own asthma and to focus on keeping people out of hospital rather than simply treating them in an emergency.
• Patient voice – Asthma UK wants people with asthma to have a say in their treatment and the care provided to them.
• Integrated care – Asthma UK wants to ensure that different health and social care professionals across the NHS speak to each other as well as the patient about their needs.
Chantelle Roberts, Campaigns Manager at Asthma UK added: ‘We are calling on the Government to ensure the newly reorganised NHS recognises what people with asthma need and sets clear goals around this. It is vital that politicians meet people like Caroline who can share their own experiences and explain how better services would make a real difference to their life.’
There are 4.5 million people with asthma in England, and three people die every day in the UK because of their asthma. Despite the fact that someone is admitted to hospital every seven minutes with a potentially fatal asthma attack awareness of the condition is incredibly low. Asthma UK is campaigning to change this.
For more information please contact the Media & PR team at Asthma UK on 020 7786 4949 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
1. Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma.
2. Follow Asthma UK’s media team on Twitter, at Twitter.com/AsthmaUKMedia
3. For up-to-date news on asthma, information and publications, visit the Asthma UK website asthma.org.uk.
4. For independent and confidential advice on asthma, call the Asthma UK Adviceline, which is staffed by asthma nurse specialists. It is free to call from a BT landline and open weekdays from 9am to 5pm on 0800 121 62 44