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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Asthma sufferers' postcode lottery
Asthma sufferer
The report says treatment is not spread evenly
Treatment for asthma depends on where the sufferer lives, according to a new survey.

A report from the National Asthma Campaign Scotland has found that many of the 400,000 Scots with asthma face a postcode lottery in care provision.

It also said only one health board came close to ensuring the recommended 50% of its pharmacists had specialist asthma training.

Campaign director Marjory Burns said care was not "evenly or consistently spread".

She said Scottish asthma sufferers found themselves "at a crossroads" following a health care consultation.

"They face alternative routes, and depending on where they live, could find themselves suffering or recovering," she said.

Ms Burns said that the survey gave a much clearer indication that a few small changes could make a massive difference to the way people with asthma in Scotland are cared for.

Care 'quality'

She said: "Health professionals must be more tuned in to the impact of their decisions, systems and procedures so that the patient goes down the route marked 'quality' of care rather than any other direction."

A total of 550 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and consultants took part in the survey which was conducted by the universities of Dundee and Aberdeen.

The Scottish Executive-funded research found that only 26% of pharmacies reported having a qualification in asthma.

At Tayside NHS Board, 42% of pharmacists were found to have specialist asthma training, the only board in Scotland which came close to meeting the recommended target of 50%.

Meanwhile Ayrshire and Arran Health Board was praised as nine out of 10 patients have access to a trained nurse.




SEE ALSO:
New guidelines on asthma
29 Jan 03  |  Health
Asthma cases on the rise
24 Jan 02  |  Scotland


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