#AskAboutAsthma: Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust welcomes new asthma specialist team

Rachael and Laura on their information stall at Queen’s Hospital. Picture: BHRUT

Rachael and Laura on their information stall at Queens Hospital. Picture: BHRUT - Credit: Archant

The NHS hospital trust that runs Queen’s and King George hospitals has introduced a new team of specialists to support children living with asthma in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.

The team, which consists of three clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) is currently taking part in #AskAboutAsthma Week, raising awareness about condition and working to improve asthma care not only in the two hospitals but also in the community.

#AskAboutAsthma Week was launched by the Healthy London Partnership and NHS England and the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) has been happy to get involved.

Laura King, one of BHRUT's CNS nurses, said: "A big part of our role is in the community, to prevent children from becoming so poorly that they need to come to hospital.

"Our ultimate aim is to help children and young people manage their own asthma, and not need us anymore!

"A good understanding of asthma is the most powerful tool we have to stop children coming to A&E and urgent care.

"Asthma is a really common condition, one in 10 children have it, yet it hasn't always been taken seriously and people are surprised to find out you can die from it.

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"I find it frustrating that it isn't seen equally with other long-term conditions such as diabetes."

Laura and fellow CNS Rachael Young have been running teaching sessions for colleagues who also work with children with asthma, to help BHRUT provide consistent asthma care.

This has included making sure every child goes home with an asthma plan, which sets out what young patients need to do if they're feeling unwell or having an attack, and remind them to keep taking their medication.

They're really important as having one means children are four times less likely to have an attack.

During #AskAboutAsthma week, they've also been holding information stalls, at Queen's Hospital on Monday (September 16) and will be at King George Hospital between 12noon and 2pm this Friday (September 20).

And Rachael and Laura, who will be joined by a third asthma CNS next month, have been encouraging colleagues to take part in #OneThingLDN as part of the campaign, in which they share the one thing they would like to see change, or think is most important in asthma care.

Rachael's own one thing was simple: "For a better understanding around asthma."