Asthma: Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th July 2020.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) people with severe asthma can access specialist centres for investigations and diagnosis and (b) severe asthma patients who are shielding during the covid-19 outbreak retain access to biologic therapies.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Holding answer received on 18 June 2020

Specialist respiratory services for severe asthma have continued during the COVID-19 outbreak; in most cases people with severe asthma have been able to receive their biologic medication at home instead of having to attend hospital. Given the pivotal role of respiratory medicine in treating patients with COVID-19, the ability of some centres to commence patients receiving biologic therapies may have been impacted at the peak of the surge.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence COVID-19 rapid guideline on severe asthma provides guidance on starting or continuing on biological treatments, for people with severe asthma during the COVID-19 outbreak. The rapid guideline is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng166

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