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Respiratory

More than five million people in the UK have asthma with the NHS spending over £1bn per year on asthma, the vast majority of it on medication. Asthma can be difficult to diagnose and misdiagnosis can be common. Improving outcomes in respiratory disease is identified as a priority in the NHS Long Term Plan. The Oxford AHSN supports the national focus on increasing detection and diagnosis, and reducing mortality, morbidity and inequalities.

The Oxford and Wessex AHSNs are leading on two national programmes, adopting a joined up approach supporting system-wide collaboration and innovation in all asthma pathways. These initiatives, commissioned by the NHS in line with national priorities, are leading to improvements in outcomes and quality of life for many people. More appropriate diagnosis, management and referral of patients needing further specialist input is helping to reduce asthma attacks, asthma-related hospital admissions and the use of steroids, known to have long-term side-effects. The Oxford AHSN leads the national programme to increase uptake of biologic medicines for patients with severe and uncontrolled asthma and works closely with Wessex AHSN which is the national lead for the programme to increase use of FeNO (fractional exhaled nitric oxide) testing in asthma diagnosis and management.

Our patient safety team works with NHS organisations in our region to implement a national patient safety improvement programme to support the spread of effective, evidence-based practice through increased uptake of discharge care bundles for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Read more here. Locally we are also working to strengthen networks, with a particular focus on improving links between primary and secondary care, and supporting workforce innovation.

In addition, we work with innovators to support the translation of research and development into clinical practice and provide effective signposting and advice to companies seeking to develop and evaluate new diagnostic, digital, medical device and artificial intelligence technologies. A number of these are related to respiratory conditions.

Respiratory is one of four key health and care priorities for the Oxford AHSN in 2022/23. Read more about them here or click on the image below.