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Asthma Champions to bring better care for children

Posted on Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Asthma nurses Judith Searle and Laura Johnston

Asthma nurses, Judith Searle and Laura Johnstone

Children with asthma will get more consistent advice and support to take control of their condition thanks to a new initiative from two children’s asthma nurses.

Judith Searle and Laura Johnston from Evelina London Children’s Hospital will train a group of staff as Asthma Champions who will then train their colleagues so the Trust provides consistently high standards of care for asthma patients.

Champions will include doctors and nurses from the children’s wards and the Children’s Emergency Department (A&E), school nurses, pharmacists and play specialists.

The initiative is being launched on World Asthma Day (Tuesday 3 May). In the UK, 5.4 million people receive asthma treatment which is equivalent to 1 in every 12 adults and 1 in every 11 children.

Judith Searle says: “We want Asthma Champions to become advocates of good practice. They will share their skills to train and support staff in their own area so we are providing the best possible advice and information to patients.

“We want to give children and their parents the tools that will help them take control of the condition. For example by helping them to understand factors which trigger their asthma.

“For children with asthma, triggers can include having a cold or the effects of changes in the weather. For others it might be a reaction to the family pet or exposure to cigarette smoke or damp and mould. Even emotions can be a trigger, like laughing a lot or stress.

“Every patient with asthma should have a regular review either at their GP surgery or with an asthma specialist so their asthma control can be checked and any problems picked up early. This can help them stay well and reduce the risk of them having an asthma attack.

“It is important to remember that having asthma should not stop people enjoying the things they want to do. With help and support, people can become experts in managing their asthma and lead a full and active life.”