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Asthma: Health Services

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 179360, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the finding by Asthma UK that one in every five severe asthma patients receive a referral, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients with severe asthma receive timely referrals to specialist care.

Answered on

29 April 2021

Information on patients who were first made aware of their severe asthma via shielding letters is not held centrally. However, respiratory disease is a national clinical priority in the NHS Long Term Plan. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working in close partnership with patients and partners, including the British Lung Foundation, and are developing and implementing policy on provisions of respiratory services in England.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) programme supported by the severe asthma toolkit, is increasing treatment adherence, biologic choice, optimising multidisciplinary teams and has been shared widely with the severe asthma clinical community. The AAC programme for severe asthma biologics has increased uptake of asthma drugs including ones covered by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s Technology Appraisals where it has been identified that there is suboptimal uptake.