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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 September, 2004, 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK
'Asthma was ruining my life'
As health groups call on the main political parties to make treatment for people with long-term illnesses more of priority, BBC News Online talks to a woman with asthma about the problems she has experienced in getting adequate care.

Charlotte Palmer
Charlotte Palmer says asthma was ruining her life

Charlotte Palmer believes poor treatment has caused her unnecessary suffering.

The 26-year-old was diagnosed with moderate asthma when she was a baby.

However, due to a lack of help from her GP, it is only in recent years that she has finally been able to get it under control.

Despite visiting her GP after experiencing an asthma attack and using a nebuliser three times, as well as oxygen, to control her asthma, the GP said that Charlotte now looked fine and did not require further help.

It was only when she was rushed to an A&E department that she was referred to an asthma specialist.

Personal plan

She was given her own personal asthma action plan, which she says is helping her to control her condition and recognise when her symptoms are getting worse.

Charlotte still has the odd asthma attack but these are far less frequent now that her asthma is under control.

She says: "I lived for so long with poorly controlled asthma that it ruined my life.

"However, now that I have a personal asthma action plan, I know how to control my asthma and recognise when my symptoms are worsening.

"Now I control my asthma and I feel much healthier and happier as a result."

Charlotte Palmer's case is featured in "17 million reasons", a joint manifesto for the treatment of people with long-term illnesses published by a group of health organisations

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