Updated asthma guidelines include focus on staff training

5th August 2019

The British Thoracic Society (BTS) has recently published updated guidelines on the management of asthma. One of the key updates is an emphasis on the importance of providing high-quality training for staff delivering care to asthma patients.

Chief Executive of Education for Health, Dr Linda Edwards, commented: “I’m delighted to see that the guidelines recognise the importance of education and training.

“Here at Education for Health we understand the benefits of providing education and training to health care professionals. We know that this enables them to have the confidence and competence to manage complex conditions and hence improve health outcomes for their patients. We are committed to continue to provide high-quality education and training to enable this to be a reality.”

Other specific recommendations within the guidelines, include:

  • Conducting quality-assured spirometry to establish airway obstruction, exclude alternative diagnoses and provide a baseline for assessing the response to the initiation of treatment.
  • Ensuring patients have received adequate training in the use of inhaler devices.
  • The need to challenge tobacco dependency.
  • Testing over a period of time rather than using single point of testing, which has limitations.

Our response:

Education for Health’s Asthma Lead, Viv Marsh, said: “This update to the British asthma guideline is very welcome. We are now busy refreshing all of our asthma educational materials, reflecting the changes, to ensure our students receive the most up-to-date evidence based education possible. In particular, it is great to see a real emphasis on personalised care, which is vital to supporting self-management in asthma.”

Future guidelines:

The guidelines were released alongside an announcement that future guidance on chronic asthma will be jointly produced by BTS, NICE and SIGN. This will ensure that future guidelines minimise confusion by avoiding conflicting guidance.

Further information:

  • Education for Health provides education and training for healthcare professionals delivering care for those with long term conditions. Our part-time accredited courses include Asthma, COPD, Spirometry, Diabetes, and CVD.
  • More information about our courses can be found on our website: https://store.educationforhealth.org/
  • Alternatively, please contact our team on: CustomerSupport@educationforhealth.org or +44 (0)1926 836835.