Ulster Unionist MLA for East Antrim Roy Beggs Jnr attended a World Asthma Day event at Stormont this week where Asthma UK Northern Ireland launched the Compare Your Care campaign, to help people with asthma find out if they are getting the care they deserve.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Beggs who is a member of the Stormont Health Committee said:
“It is interesting to learn that every year in Northern Ireland, over 1,700 people are hospitalised because of a potentially fatal asthma attack, yet three quarters of hospital admissions could be prevented with the right care and management.
Local pharmacists can play a key role in monitoring and advising patients on the effective treatment of Asthma enabling a better life experience and reducing the need for emergency treatment.”
From May 2013, community pharmacies will be contracted to offer ‘Medicines Use Reviews’ (MURs) for the first time in Northern Ireland. MURs have been in place in England and Wales since 2005, and are an opportunity for patients to discuss their medicines and the management of their asthma with a qualified pharmacist in a private consultation room.
Patients, pharmacists, MLAs attended the event in the Senate Room at Parliament Buildings where MURs were formally introduced, and the Compare Your Care campaign was discussed.
The 182,000 people who are living with asthma in Northern Ireland have been identified as the first group of people who will benefit from these reviews. Regular use of preventer inhaler can keep people’s asthma under control and helps prevent asthma attacks that can lead to hospitalisation and death. Reviews provided by qualified pharmacists will help thousands of people understand their medicines and how to take them correctly.
Asthma UK Northern Ireland is urging everyone with asthma to take an online quiz to find out if they are getting the right care and support to stay in control of their condition. Rate your care at www.asthma.org.uk/compareyourcare.
• In Northern Ireland 182,000 people (1 in 10) are currently receiving treatment for asthma. This includes 36,000 children and 146,000 adults.
• There were 33 deaths from asthma in Northern Ireland in 2011.