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Publication Date: 09/07/2009 

Children to benefit from asthma project 

Pilot will improve access to asthma services 

Photo of CAPS team 

Improving asthma services: from left, Elaine Anderson, specialist nurse respiratory paediatrics (SNRP), Dr Donna Corrigan, consultant paediatrician, Dr Alwaly Majumdar, lead GP Wishaw locality, and Linda Duncan, SNRP. 

A project has been completed which will help Lanarkshire children with asthma.

Called Children’s Asthma Practice Support (CAPS) – the NHS Lanarkshire scheme will lead to improved access to asthma services in local communities.

From July 2008 to July 2009, a CAPS team of nurses, doctors and local parents joined forces with the paediatric respiratory services team to share experiences and design a new model of children’s asthma care.

This new model will now be piloted in Motherwell and Wishaw, with the intention that it will be rolled out to all Lanarkshire areas.

Linda Duncan, specialist nurse in respiratory paediatrics, said: “CAPS will benefit children with stable asthma as their care will now be shared by both clinicians at the hospital and the primary care settings.

“This will release valuable clinical time for the hospital clinicians to concentrate on more difficult and brittle asthma cases.

“At the moment these children visit the asthma clinic at Wishaw General four times a year.

“CAPS means they only need to attend the clinic twice a year and on the two other occasions can be seen at their local health centre.”

A total of 22 nurses completed specialised training so every health centre in Motherwell and Wishaw has a practice trained nurse updated in the latest asthma management model.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Donna Corrigan added: “We have been working closely with GPs and paediatric nurses to ensure that children can receive more of their care within their local practice.”

“We are also ensuring we’re sharing educational materials and asthma plans, and trying to ensure consistency of care across primary and secondary care.”

The new model is based on the British Thoracic Society Guideline (2008) and recommendation from QIS Local Report (August 2008) Asthma Services for Children and Young People.

Key objectives of the project are to:

  • increase practice nurse and GP confidence in managing children’s asthma
  • develop a shared care policy and guideline on which children should be referred between primary and secondary care, standardising the referral pathway.
  • identify high-risk children with three or more acute/unscheduled episodes in less than 12 months.