Severe asthma patients face discrimination, report says

People with severe asthma face widespread discrimination, according to the findings of an Asthma UK report.

Asthma patients 'marginalised' (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)
Asthma patients 'marginalised' (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)

The charity is calling on healthcare professionals, as well as commissioners, policy-makers and others, to recognise that severe asthma can be extremely disabling.

Those with the condition should be treated with fairness and respect so they receive the support they need to cope with their daily lives, it says.

The report, Fighting for breath, was jointly produced by Asthma UK and the Severe Asthma National Network. It is based on discussions with 50 people with severe asthma being treated in five UK hospitals.

Neil Churchill, chief executive of Asthma UK, said: 'Our report shows that people with severe asthma are some of the most marginalised in society, living hidden lives, facing discrimination from many areas of society and missing out on vital life opportunities.

'To ensure that people with severe asthma receive the support and care they deserve, the government must enable those affected and their carers to access the benefits they need, protect spending on specialist nurse posts, and develop and implement consistent standards for asthma across the UK.'

The reports set out separate goals for the UK's four nations, calling for a range of measures from audits to new clinical targets or national strategies.

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