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Children with asthma 'at low risk'

PUBLISHED: 09:21 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 July 2010

CHILDREN with asthma in the East of England are at the lowest risk of an emergency hospital visit compared with other sufferers in the country, a report revealed this week.

CHILDREN with asthma in the East of England are at the lowest risk of an emergency hospital visit compared with other sufferers in the country, a report revealed this week.

Asthma UK conducted a UK-wide study and uncovered big differences in the numbers of emergency admissions for children with asthma, with the widest disparity in England.

Children in the North West, which ranked highest in the report, are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital than children in the eastern region.

The report forms part of a campaign by the charity, called Wish You Were Here?, which highlights the lottery that children with asthma face when accessing local health services.

The campaign aims to shock governments and health services into taking asthma more seriously and ensuring consistent standards are put in place. On average, a child is admitted to hospital because of their asthma every 16 minutes in the UK, the equivalent of 91 children daily.

The charity's report used admissions figures and national and local population profiles to calculate expected admission numbers for each area. The charity compared this figure with the number of people with asthma admitted to hospital during the NHS operating year 2006 to 2007 to find the ratio for each area.

The lowest rate in the region is at Yarmouth and Waveney with a ratio of 77, meaning standardised admissions are 23pc below average.

The ratios for Norfolk and Suffolk are 95 and 102 respectively.

In the East of England, Luton ranked worst with a ratio 26pc above the national average while South East Essex was 61pc below.

Children in Liverpool have the highest chance of needing emergency hospital treatment for asthma in England, with a ratio ranking 192pc above the national average.

Neil Churchill, chief executive of Asthma UK, said: “These figures paint a disturbing picture of the impact of asthma on children's lives, suggesting that not all children are getting the same access to vital asthma services. These divisions are unacceptable.”


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