Difference in asthma care given in Primary Care!

My mother-in-law suddenly developed increasing shortness of breath at rest and exerction. She had been given a preventer inhaler a few years ago but for some strange reason no reliever. She also had not had the importance of using inhaler explained and had never had an asthma check!. Not unsurprisingly the out of date preventer gave no relief to her increasing shortness of breath and her night time symptoms got worse. Her GP said its okay don't worry its just bronchospasms that your having take this and you will be fine its just adult onset asthma. The scrippy was for a Ventolin inhaler, he hadn't shown her how to use it or told her to make an apt with the Nurse. I watched her use it and she couldn't manage to use it, she was also due to fly in 2 days. So I rang her GP (against her wishes - she is of the generation where you don't bother the GP or you will get in trouble) The GP said its okay its only asthma what do you expect at her age! she is in her 80's, i said that i expect her to have the same asthma care as everyone else which to my mind would at the very least include a preventor. He reluctantly agreed to give her a preventor and a short course of steroids. She did fly but had difficulty breathing on the flight and is still very breathless, the use of a Spacer with mask has helped greatly but we had to buy this over the counter and wouldn't have know of this if I didn't have asthma. The difference in asthma care given within the same city is quite frightening - no wonder we have one of the highest rates for emergency asthma admissions in the country!. There is very definately a North/South divide. I wish that all GP's adhered to the guidelines so that everyone had access to basic asthma advice and care. I am glad that Asthma UK address the gap - provides the info that isn't always readily available via Primary care but wish I could change things too. Lois

2 Replies

  • Thank you for posting this lois, i am going to a shaping future care thing on monday and i will mention if given chance why are elderly new asthmatics are not given same care as children, at the moment i am collecting information. Out of curiousity does your mother in law wheeze?


  • Thank you Plumie that was good timing, hmmm her wheeze is different to mine its not as noisy its more that she is puffed like she has just been rushing but actually she is just sitting still. I however have a very embarrassing noisy wheeze, but i haven't always had a noisy wheeze in the last 3 or 4 years since i've had a big wheeze i would say i'm treated far more seriously than when i was quiet!. Which is wrong really - i feel sorry for non wheezers because not everyone takes them seriously, even when my sats are not too low i get pushed into resuss instead of staying at ordinary Majors side in A&E because my wheeze doesn't always respond to oxygen and nebs but i'm actually poorlier when my chest is quiet. But they just hear the noisy wheeze and that colours their judgement, pesky wheeze! Hope you have a lovely time on Monday, glad your feeling better and glad that you are speaking up for asthma, take good care, Lois

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