New children’s asthma service launches in Croydon

NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (Croydon CCG) and Croydon Health Services NHS Trust have launched a new specialist service for children with wheeze or asthma, based within the Children’s Hospital at Home Team.

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The new Children’s Asthma Team is a community-based, specialist team of paediatric nurses.  The service is available to all children and young people up to 18 years of age presenting with /asthma wheeze, who have a Croydon GP.

The aim of the service is to deliver a single home/school intervention to enhance a child/young person’s self- management skills, understanding of their condition and ability to recognise when symptoms change and what to do in this event.

The team works closely with all members of the professional network working with a child or young person, and offer an intensive home or school visit for targeted support. At the visit, a full assessment is carried out which includes identifying and reducing triggers including discussing smoking cessation with parents and guardians, and minimising exposure to passive smoking. A child’s prescribed medication is checked in accordance with the BTS 2014 Guidelines for Asthma.

Regular asthma reviews with a GP or Practice Nurse are promoted as part of the on-going care and a follow-up phone call is carried out 3 months after the visit to reassess a child’s/young person’s care. As a result of the visit a reduction in missed school days and emergency hospital attendance is expected.

Education regarding inhaler technique has been identified as an area that is of paramount importance. Early findings show that children are frequently using devices incorrectly or have inappropriate devices for their age, which is reducing the effectiveness of their medication. The specialist nurse assesses inhaler technique during home visits and also offers inhaler technique training to health care professionals.

A personalised asthma action plan is developed and each step explained fully to improve a child/young person’s self-management. The Children’s Asthma Team works closely with various health care and social professionals and share relevant information following the visit to ensure a joint approach to the patients care.

Patients remain under the care of their GP for on-going support, treatment and review for asthma and wheezing.

The specialist nurses are noting a marked improvement in a patient’s confidence in controlling their asthma. This is evidenced by improved Asthma Control Test scores at the time of follow-up.

A parent has recently said,

“I feel like someone is finally listening for the first time in five years, thank you Asthma Team”.

Follow the Children’s Hospital at Home team for Croydon on Twitter at  @CHAHCommunity and the specialist asthma team on @CHAHAsthma

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