Asthma in the UK is extremely common. It is no surprise then that there are nearly 6 million people in the UK who suffer from the condition.
But despite affecting so many of us, over 1,500 people die of Asthma every year in the UK.
This can change if we take the necessary precautionary measures.
Did you know?
Schools are allowed to hold spare emergency reliever inhalers. With Asthma in children increasing, as of late 2014, schools have been allowed to hold spare emergency reliever inhalers.
Asthma UK, who campaigned for the change, found that 86% of children have been without their own inhaler because it was lost, forgotten, broken or had run out.
But there is a solution. Schools can buy inhalers and spacers in small quantities, and on an occasional basis, without a prescription. However, pharmacies are not required to provide inhalers or spacers free of charge to schools and it is likely there will be a small charge.
Schools Are Responsible For:
- providing a request signed by the principal or head teacher (ideally on appropriately headed paper) which states:
- the name of the school for which the product is required;
- the purpose for which the product is required, and
- the total quantity required
Schools may want to discuss with their community pharmacist the different plastic spacers available. They will be able to advise what is most appropriate for the age-group in the school. Community pharmacists can also provide advice on the use of the inhaler.
UK Guidance for Inhalers and How They Differ:
- For schools in England, the Department of Health issued guidance on storage. They explain how schools should safely keep and administer spare emergency inhalers.
- In Wales, the Welsh Government issued guidance in October 2014 also. This information is available in Welsh, too.
- In Northern Ireland, guidance has been issued to all schools. The unanimous decision allows them to hold a supply of inhalers for emergency use.
- In Scotland, Asthma UK Scotland are reviewing their guidance. They have been in contact with the Scottish Government on managing medicines.