Asthma is a long-term condition that affects a person’s airways. It usually causes symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. Contact with an asthma triggers, can make a person’s symptoms worse and even bring on an asthma attack. It affects about 5 million people in the UK. More information including diagnosis, symptoms and treatment can be found at the Asthma UK website.
Around 200,000 people in the UK have severe asthma, this is a debilitating form of the condition that doesn’t respond to usual treatments and can cause people to be in and out of hospital. In 2016/17 (the most recent data available) there were 77,124 admissions to hospital for asthma in the UK.
The care bundle was developed by the British Thoracic Society with input from other specialist organisations. It drew on resources including National Review of Asthma Deaths Report – Why asthma still kills, guidelines and quality standards for asthma. Five elements were selected as the actions most likely improve the care of patients and to produce an improvement in the outcomes being measured:
- Assessment of inhaler technique
- Review of medications
- Provision of a written action plan and patient self-management
- Consideration of triggering and exacerbating factors
- Appropriate follow up arrangements
The asthma care bundle is designed to be used primarily for patients discharged from hospital following an acute asthma attack. The bundle can be applied to both adults and children, although special considerations may apply to children under 5 years of age.
The key national programme ambition is to support an increase in the proportion of patients in acute hospitals receiving every element, of the British Thoracic Society asthma discharge care bundle (for which they are eligible), to 80% by March 2023.