Alerted to its above average rates of asthma admissions, the George Eliot Hospital Trust in Nuneaton analysed hospital records to identify children at a high risk of asthma attacks and targeted treatment directly to them. Focused treatment of this kind, used nationwide, could reduce the number of unnecessary deaths from asthma.

Why was this work needed?

There were 1,380 deaths from asthma in 2015 in the UK, with around two thirds of these being preventable with better management of the condition.

The George Eliot Hospital Trust in Nuneaton recently became aware that its rate of asthma admissions was six times higher than the national average, so they developed a project to help those most at risk.

What happened?

The Trust focused on children at risk of asthma attacks and linked their records of past GP and hospital admissions. It was able to determine which children were at the highest risk and invited them for additional hospital appointments.

What were the benefits?

Work of this kind allows those at risk of serious asthma attacks to be identified and treated before their condition gets worse. Consultants can also now see all the information about a patient in one place as their whole medical record is linked.

If this approach was used more broadly, it could ease strain on the NHS by reducing the number of emergency admissions, as well as preventing unnecessary deaths.

What type of data was involved?

GP and hospital records were linked.

Identifiable data was being used for individual care. The George Eliot Hospital Trust developed data sharing agreements between the GP practices and hospitals involved.

Who funded and collaborated on this work?

The data tool used by the George Eliot Hospital Trust was developed by Health Intelligence.

Where can I go for more information?

My data, my care: How better use of data improves health and wellbeing - The Richmond Group of Charities

Asthma and COPD – Health Intelligence

The Asthma UK Data Portal