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Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people have been admitted to hospital due to asthma in each (a) health authority and (b) primary care trust in England for each of the last five years; (76861)

(2) what the total cost was to the NHS of treating people with asthma for each year since 1997;

(3) what measures the Department is taking to reduce emergency hospital admissions for people with asthma; and if she will make a statement.

Data on the number of people admitted to hospital with the primary diagnosis of asthma, in each strategic health authority and primary care trust over the last five years have been placed in the Library.

Information on the total cost to the national health service of treating people with asthma is not collected.

The NHS Improvement Plan set out the Government’s priority to improve care for people with long-term conditions by moving away from reactive care based in acute systems, towards a systematic, patient-centred approach.

The national public service agreement target focuses on improving health outcomes for people with long-term conditions, including asthma, by offering a personalised care plan for vulnerable people most at risk, and reducing emergency bed days by 5 per cent., by 2008 through improved care in primary and community settings.

To take this forward, ‘Supporting People with Long-Term Conditions’, published January 2005, sets out a new NHS and social care model designed to help local NHS and social care organisations improve care for people with long-term conditions. By 2007, there will be some 3,000 community matrons co-ordinating care for around 250,000 people.