Consultation blog, and David Beckham

Hi all,

Just a couple of updates about some new content on the site. Neil's latest blog outlines the key questions the Department of Health must answer at the upcoming patient consultation events:

Also the papers have gone mad over the news that David Beckham has asthma:

49 Replies

  • thanks for the updates.

    Yes the papers have gone bananas over david Beckham having asthma. But I did think when I fisrt heard why he didnt say anything about it before. As he is such a big role model someone like him being public about having asthma would be a huge encouragment for young children especially boys who have asthma and are possibly apprehensive about doing sport. Such a big name with asthma would have a big impact. I wonder why he didnt say anthing.


  • I saw the thing about Beckham on one of the morning news programmes this morning. What got to me most was the way the news-people talked about asthma as if they were all experts and as if all asthma is identical. One of them happily sat and said something like (don't quote me, I was doped up) ""there, see, having asthma won't stop you doing anything, get out there..."" I had to listen to this whilst lying in a hospital bed following a severe attack and having lost out on the opportunity to do what I want at Christmas. Not helpful because it perpetuates the ""Well, if Beckham etc. can, then there's no reason your asthma should stop you doing something"" :(

    This would be an ideal opportunity for awareness raising, but I doubt that will happen.

  • Hi I agree with Ratty, I was watching BBC this morning and looked on in horror as the guy on the telly was basically telling everyone that just because Beckham has asthma we can now all do any thing we want and asthma won't affect us!! just goes to show, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I said to my Son ""maybe we'll leave the inhalers at home this morning if asthma's not such a problem!"" we both laughed and grabbed our inhalers and set off for the day. No wonder I'm struggling to get people to take my Son's asthma seriously, people just ain't got a clue.


  • David Beckham

    I am so incensed with the way the media are potraying asthma since this news broke.Like the previous replies I feel that more definitely needs to be done to educate the mesia about asthma. Don't they realise that there are a helluva lot of us on the optimum tretment but srill have asthma that is poorly controlled and no matter what ( unless a complete cure is forthcoming ) we will never be able to do any sort of sport never mind football. Sorry for going on but I feel so strongly about this. I am a ""speak up for Asthma speaker"" for asthma uk (Scotland) and I don't know how many people have come up to me afterwards tp say they did'nt know asthma could be so life limiting. Thanks for listening

  • Im not a huge fan of Mr Beckham, but can't help wondering if this is more of a personal publicity stunt, and OK will show a good role model, what about Ian Botham, all the walks for charity, Paula Radcliffe, who managed to rank 1st in the worlds for marathon running.

  • I won't bother adding to this, because everyone else has already said what I feel.

  • Mixed views really. I don't see why it's a big thing, Paul Scholes has had it for years and has done a lot of fundraising for it. Loads of other althetes have it too

    On the other side, I think it should encourage people to get fit, a lot of asthmatics don't help theirselves in fairness and give the old ""oh I can't excercise I've got asthma"" when in fact it's just as important if not more important to excercise if you've got asthma. If a lot of people were physically fitter and kept themselves fit their symptoms wouldn't be as bad or poorly controlled.

  • Claire I find that a bit insulting. My symptoms are not poorly controlled through any fault of my own and I would do anything to have better control and to be able to exercise and 'help myself'. Only last week I was asking my GP about how I could increase my exercise but my asthma DOES prevent me from doing this ( get out of breath waking to the bathroom at the moment). I'm on maximal therapy, I've had three hospital admissions, two serious, in less than two months. I'd give anything to be the same fit active person I was a few years ago. I didn't do anything to make my asthma suddenly decide to become severe, I follow my plan to the letter, I attend all my appointments, I do everything I am told, I take all my meds. I don't use my asthma as an excuse. The only thing I do 'wrong' is push myself too far because people don't understand and I feel I have to push myself because of ignorant comments.

  • I never commented on individual cases, and I've never suggested is it your fault so I don't know why you have taken it personally. But as a general groups Asthmatics don't so as much they could to help themselves for example, there's not much diff in the propotion of smokers in those who do or don't have it. I just think that sports people that have might encourage people who can do more for themselves to do more for themselves.

  • Out of curiosity, which inhaler was he using?

  • When I saw it on the news it was red and looked like becotide, so I know it's a presumption but if that's his only prevention medicine he's inlikely to have to it severely.

  • Hi folks if the news article upset you, you can go on bbc website and put in a complaint with your own personal asthma story, it may help get real asthma out! Worth a try.

    The consultation blog i have wrote down questions ready to take on monday. If i get rid of this stupid bug, had it a week!


  • Hi folks if the news article upset you, you can go on bbc website and put in a complaint with your own personal asthma story, it may help get real asthma out! Worth a try.

    The consultation blog i have wrote down questions ready to take on monday. If i get rid of this stupid bug, had it a week!


  • I just wanted to apologise to Claire - my message was way OTT and I can see that she wasn't referring to any individual. I'm just feeling very sensitive at the moment - fault lies entirely with me. Sorry.

  • no ratty i read it as offensive too. altho i am sure someone else will sort this later.

    take care and big hugs, get well soon!


  • Does anyone know how you can delete your account?

  • Sort what exactly? All I've done is express a view that a lot of people could do more to help themselves like not smoke, excercise etc. Which might not apply to many people on here but is still pretty true. Is that against the T&Cs.

  • edit : On the other side, I think it should encourage people to get fit, a lot of asthmatics don't help theirselves in fairness and give the old ""oh I can't excercise I've got asthma"" when in fact it's just as important if not more important to excercise if you've got asthma. If a lot of people were physically fitter and kept themselves fit their symptoms wouldn't be as bad or poorly controlled.

    THis is the part of claire mich in question, i do not personally know any asthmatic who say i cannot exercise i have asthma, i personally would love to exercise but i cannot because i would land in hospital. I know this is the same for ratty. I would love to keep myself physically fit but i cannot and my asthma is not well controlled but that is because there just isnt treatment it is not by medical peoples choice. this is where it causes offence. Hope it clearer to you now claire mich.

  • I don't think I've misunderstood you at all, obviously people who don't have home neds aren't welcome round here. Well I am sorry it's me who's moderate and you that isn't. As it happens I've got autism that doesn't get any better no matter how much therapy I have or ritalin I take, but I have to put up with people saying it's my parents fault for not instilling discipline.

  • Modding Message

    Woah, steady on peeps, take a step back for a moment.

    I know it's frustrating to see asthma portrayed in the media as a completely-controllable condition which shouldn't hold you back, when you're on maximal therapy and are doing your damndest just to walk to the end of the road - if that. However, please do remember that, for a huge proportion of asthmatics, it *is* a completely controllable condition that shouldn't impact on lifestyle/exercise etc. There are so many people out there who accept daily symptoms and exercise limitation as part of their condition, when it really needn't be (I'm NOT referring to severe/difficult/uncontrollable asthma here) - Claire-Michelle's point, as applicable to asthmatics as a whole, is extremely valid. I've had mums coming in to surgery asking for a letter to excuse their child from PE because they have just a blue inhaler. It's this stigma that asthma means disability and exclusion that needs to be dispelled; YES, there needs to be wider publicity about the more severe end of the spectum, but many more people perceive asthma as a disability when with education, time and the correct medication, they can live mainly symptom-free.

    Andy - from the pictures, I believe he was taking Albuterol, which is the American version of Salbutamol.

    Claire-Michelle - sorry, no, there is no way you can delete your account, for security reasons. If you don't want to post any more, you simply no longer sign in.

    *Removes Mod Hat*


  • sorry claire i am not going to argue. Read why i said you misunderstood if you still dont get it then i am sorry. i have tried my best and that is all i can do. You are very welcome here and i am glad you are moderate. I wish i could be fitter and i wish i could do more to controll my asthma but both of these are out of my hands. Hope you understand this.


    (sorry mods, it prob me, i just dont like to be told i have bad asthma because i am unfit)

  • Well at the end of the day it's obvious what you think of people like me and it's obvious we aint welcome. I notice how when Ratty apologised you were all ""oh no im offended"" and now a mods came in and said I'm valid you're changing your tune.

  • Modding Message

    I think it's probably wise if everyone takes a step back and doesn't personalise messages that describe asthma in general, rather than just severe/uncontrollable asthma.

    Now can we please get the debate back on course?


  • And I can read by the way. I still don't see why it's offensive given I was referring to the asthma as a whole population rather than anybody on here or anybody who does as much as they can. And as a whole population if asthmatics were fitter, attended reviews, didn't smoke etc they wouldn't be as symptomatic as they are.

    What's offensive about that?

  • Yes sorry cath bear, are we meant to take the consultantion blog questions along to the events when we go?

    I am quite looking forward to the one i am going to on monday. It shall be a day out if nothing else.


  • What I think Claire was meant to say, is those who can and do manage to get good control of their asthma, could help themselves a bit more by being just a little more active. I know Plumie you do really try and do as much as you can when you're well, and that you should be so proud off that effort. You make a good role model for all that you do. I'm afraid I don't know you Ratty well enough to comment, but I'm certain if you could do more you would. I read many comments on here from people so frustrated at not being able to do even the basics, let alone exercise so don't take Claire's post as an insult, it applies to a wide range of the general public.





    There's no point even me being on here, I'm made unwelcome and made out to be completely thick

  • Moderator message

    Claire-Michelle - DROP IT, now please. CathBear and Woody have both backed you up, and Plumie and Ratty have both apologised. We want to move this thread back to the conversation in hand, and that won't happen if you keep dragging up an old argument.

  • But its ok for me to feel like im made out to be as thick as two short planks, nice

  • Claire, please don't think you're not welcome, you are, and I agree that those with mild/moderate asthma should do more if they can. I'm moderately/severe asthmatic, but once I got control of the symptoms, I'm back to running,cycling, so yes it can be done, but there are a lot on here who are Brittle or really struggle to gain control, and would love to do things, but can't for love or money.

  • Claire-Michelle - as per the terms and conditions of this message board, I have no choice but to suspend you as you have already received two warnings by PM about your conduct.

    Woody - my apologies for the unintended irony I've just given your previous post.

  • Steve I dont think its necessary to inform the whole of AUK of claires previous warnings, surely thats between you and her not the rest of us? Just because someone has an opinion they get jumped on! Which results in them being banned!

  • Clare,

    Once we've suspended someone from the message boards, they can no longer access their PMs, so there is no way we can communicate a suspension other than on the boards.

    If you read back, I myself and Woody BOTH supported Claire-Michelle's opinion; please don't try to insinuate that this is about suppression of opinions.


  • In other news!

    Just saw this topic on ITV news, they focused in on Olives post, well done!


  • I don't even know why it made the news, so David Beckham has asthma, big deal so do millions of others, do they get media coverage, no. One thing I have found though, is that distance runners and cyclists are more likely to have asthma than footballers, maybe that's why it made the news, he's a footballer with asthma, so rare!

  • Paul Scholes too, Woody!

  • and Frank Lampard too! Apparently.

  • Paul Scholes does quite a bit of fundraising for asthma. He lived on the same estate as my mums family when they were all growing up.

    I wonder if all these althetes know they have it because they're checked for things more often as in the proportion of althetes with is is said to be high, but is it higher than the actual figure for the rest of us?

    If you're constantly screened you'll know about it, whereas if you wasn't you could have but just not know and not get it seen to.

  • Just a note to say I've done a bit of pruning to clean up this thread; all original posts have been saved to file elsewhere.

  • David Beckham has Asthma, I understand he is one of the most famous football players in the world but I don't understand the media interest about him having Asthma.

    Looking at some articles and some forum posts on other forums, some people doubt his ability to play Football because they now know he has Asthma, maybe this is why he didn't want people to know? There are 2 polarising misconceptions of Asthma either it is not a condition to be taken seriously or it is a condition which means you are virtually disabled. While the latter applies to many people across the severe end of the spectrum for most people who have Asthma it can be brought under control and can lead 'normal' lives including doing sport and exercise. However the first misconception is just that, people do die from Asthma and it must always be taken seriously however 'mild' a person's Asthma might seem. I do wonder,like Olive, why he didn't speak out about having Asthma earlier, it is nothing to be ashamed of and I wonder if it is because of what I have posted above.

    While he would be a great role model for young people with Asthma, it is his prerogative whether or not he chooses to disclose any medical conditions. I do feel the media coverage isn't helpful in a way as it makes it seem somehow stigmatic and people say things like why didn't he 'admit it' what is there to admit? , asthma isn't a crime or something to be ashamed of. It is clear that to this day there is still alot of awareness needed about Asthma as a condition.

    Simi. :)

    *edited for clarification. :)

  • I'm not sure if more athletes have asthma in proportion to the rest of the population in general, but yes it could be down to testing, or like when I was diagnosed last year. A friend said is it because you're fit you notice things as you know your body, where's the couch potato types just ignore the symptoms, thinking they are unfit, over weight and poor diet. I think for the professionals it is most likely testing, but the rest of us, my friend was spot on in her assumption.

    I can't recall the exact figures, but at the Olympics, the number of athletes with asthma was higher than that in the general population, a fact not made widely known, but why should it, for the vast majority, asthma is a controllable condition.

  • Hey woody som, i agree with that even my asthma is controllable at points, asthma can and should be controlled. I am just about over my chest infection finally....... and i am getting back to things once more. Yes not as much as most but thankfully my asthma has now settled back it's norm, i can at least get to the toilet and kitchen once again without needing reliever, i am thankful for this and thankful it is controlled at the moment.

    I recone that why David beckham didnt want people to know is because so many people just dont understand asthma and that we cannot hold against them but we could use him as a way of getting better understanding of asthma out to the world, ie talk with him or agent about does he wheeze, what does he find triggers him etc etc. People will listen if it coming from a celebrity.

  • Can see all sides of this one. I've played football all my life and coach younger kids and encourage them to stay fit, eat well and everything.

    Seen both cases, cases where some of them really want to join in and really resent they can't despite their effort. See a lot more lazy kids though, who do treat it an excuse and shouldn't. I guess it's that group who should be looking at making better choices and sometimes parents can need a bit of education, they naturally worry about their children and what may happen and sometimes put doubt in their child's minds. I can understand that, suppose they think if they encourage their children to play sport and they get ill then they'll feel guilty. But at the same time people should be encouraged to take whatever measures they can to gain and maintain control. We find once the kids have come a few times and the parents have watched and see that their child is in good hands can work really well and helps the child develop good habits like keeping their inhalers with them, taking it at half time which hopefully stay with them.

  • Hi my Son has brittle asthma type 2 and is a fantastic athlete, he is only 9 but runs for our local area regularly and does competitive swimming. The only problem is after he has been in competitions for running it nearly kills him(peakflow goes to pot for a week and end up on nebuliser and steroids) but he lives for his sports. I'm asthmatic and used to run for my county, like my Son i'd have an attack as soon as I finished, didn't matter what I did to try and stop it. My Son says his asthma makes him faster because he breaths deeper and has more stamina because of this! maybe Usaine Bolt is a secret asthmatic too!!

  • I went to the shaping the future day today in leeds and it was really informative and very good. Lots of points raised by lots of people, encourage people to book on the other ones that are coming up. It is a good opportunity to voice concerns and to tell them things you like and want to keep.


  • Hi Plumie,

    really glad you enjoyed it, I was wondering if it was going to be a waste of time.

    Something I've noticed, the two events in the south seem to have better support than the others, wonder why?

  • I also went to the shaping the future consultation in Leeds today and met Plumie, yay! It was a really great day and we met some very inspiring fellow asthmatics. It was a great opportunity to voice our experiences and ideas and get some friendly debate going about asthma care. The asthma uk staff were brilliant at facilitating our discussions and letting everyone have their say. There were some very interesting stories of experiences around the country. All in all I thought it was definitely worth attending, so if there is an even near you and you haven't booked a place yet then I recommend it!


  • Hi All,

    I too went to Leeds today and as we say 'ere up North - By the eck. As a grumpy old fellow I was truly humbled and privileged to meet with others who have the same condition as myself and not as controlled. What inspirations these people were both young and not so young. Hopefully Kevin from the DH can do something to change the way Asthma is addressed by the medical fraternity and dispose with the tick box treatment that many of us receive. Thanks to Plumie and Sparkly Fairy for the words of their experiences today.

    We did touch on setting a semi regional natter shop as our shared experiences today helped us not too feel alone. Only time and willingness will tell. Keep onto your MP's to get the presciption charges debacle sorted out.

    Peter S

  • Hi All,

    Just like to agree with the posts below, the events are really well organised, and lovely to meet others and share ideas and experiences. Everyone from all the relevant organisations showed a genuine interest in listening and taking on board our collective ideas and suggestions.

    Really like to thank everyone who organised it, and helped out in what ever capacity. Only slight grumble people had, the event was in Wellington, not Taunton, making it a little difficult for some to find.

    Anyone who hasn't signed up, there are still two events, so if you want a say, I really do recommend you go to one if you can.

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