Asthma in Schools
The Asthma in Schools Project was developed to make it easier for children and young people to attend their annual asthma reviews. The project specifically aims to challenge health inequalities, by holding clinics in schools in deprived areas. Children from poorer backgrounds are more than twice as likely to attend hospitals due to asthma attacks and yet least likely to attend preventative reviews.
Evidence suggests most asthma attacks are preventable if children and young people are given the correct diagnosis, receive the correct preventative medicines, understand how they work and why they need to take their preventer inhalers regularly, but also have the correct inhaler technique, and know how to respond if their asthma symptoms get worse.
As of 2022 the project has covered 10 schools in Norwich and the feedback has been very positive. Families advised that due to the pandemic holding clinics in schools is far more accessible. Two thirds of the families reviewed had either never had an annual review or had never had one recently. This reflected in only half the children having their asthma under control. School staff have also been trained, allowing children to feel supported during the day. Confidence and knowledge have increased within families and staff significantly. Each family receives a personal asthma action plan which is shared with the school.
The project is now receiving national attention and has been shortlisted for the Health Service Journal awards as well as the GP Practice Awards. Funding has been approved to extend the project across Norfolk and Waveney schools.