Asthma – a new approach to your asthma check

The goal of asthma treatment is to help you to live a life almost as if you didn’t have it. We want you to be the one in control of your asthma. Allowing you to work, exercise and sleep without frequently needing to use your reliever inhaler. The aim of the remote asthma review is to make it easier for you to get your asthma check done.

Before starting the Asthma review

We will be asking you some questions about your asthma as well as asking you to do some peak flow readings if you have one. We will also be asking you to upload a video of you using your inhalers. You may want to record the video first , and have some recent peak flow readings to hand before you start the remote asthma review.

The online form will ask you what medicines you use . You only have to tell us what inhalers or tablets you use for your asthma .

How to record your inhaler technique video

You may want to record the inhaler video first and watch it back to check the lighting is ok before uploading it to the form when you are asked to do this. Also check that there isn’t anything in the video that you don’t want us to see. It does not matter what is in the background, but you may want to check what it looks like before you send it.

We need to see how you are using your inhaler so that we can help you to get the most use out of your inhaler. Uploading a video of your inhaler technique may mean that you don’t need to take time out of your schedule to visit the Practice just to get your inhaler technique checked.

We don’t need this to be of high quality but we do need it to be adequate for  us to see how you use the inhaler.

We want to see what your hands are doing with the inhaler when you are using it. We also like to see how you get the inhaler ready to use and connect it to a spacer device ( plastic tube )  if you use one.

You may find it’s easier to do this with you standing in front of a wall, tiled surface or a closed door.

Getting someone else to do the filming can make this easier. Some people prefer to prop their phone up on something or use a tripod.

Once you are happy with the video , and it’s saved to your camera roll you can start the asthma review online form. You will need to be online as it will use the internet to upload the video. You may want to do this when you have wifi as this will use your data allowance if you do this with just a mobile data sim.

Don’t worry if you can’t manage to record the video. You can just skip the part of the form where it asks for a video and our asthma team will discuss this with later if they need to. ( it depends on how well controlled your asthma is ) 

We recognise that every person who has asthma is different. Our new approach to asthma reviews is to ask you to complete an online asthma review form. This gives us a view of how well controlled your asthma is. We use your responses to decide if you would benefit from a face to face assessment, and how urgently you need to be seen or have a telephone or video call with a member of our team.

In normal ( non-covid19 ) times we would have been sending out invitations for patients to come to the practice for an annual Asthma review with one of our practice nurses. Covid came along in 2020 and caused havoc with the usual way of doing things as anything that involved getting the patient to blow out or cough became a potentially aerosol generating procedure which was best avoided if possible.

Even before Covid we had been thinking about how to make the whole patient asthma review experience better for patients and more convenient. What we have come up with is a slightly different approach which we hope that our patients will like.

The new asthma review process could take you 10-20 minutes to complete. It includes a section where you can upload a video of you using your inhalers. We will also be asking you what your current Peak Flow is, so you may want to get a few peak flows recorded before staring this. Ask reception for a peak flow meter if you need a new one. You can buy them online or from a pharmacy – or we can prescribe one for you.

You can complete the whole thing in one sitting or come back to it to complete it later. If you are not sure about how to upload a video of your using your inhaler you may have someone in your “bubble” that you could ask for advice about how to do this . It is very straightforward and similar to taking a photograph with your phone.

This is a new approach and we are keen to hear any feedback you have about this new approach.

Please give this a try if you can. This service is in addition to the normal way of accessing GP services.

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