Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 26 March 2024.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance her Department plans to issue to asthmatic people on projected high pollen levels this summer.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

At present, NHS England has no plans to issue guidance to asthmatic people on projected high pollen levels this summer. However, the National Health Service website contains advice on asthma, which includes advice on understanding and managing triggers, such as pollen. The NHS site also links to Asthma and Lung UK’s advice on asthma management, which contains more detailed information on managing triggers, and how best to reduce risk when pollen levels are high.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has new capabilities for monitoring real-time pollen levels for this year’s pollen season. This adds to the UKHSA’s Real-time Syndromic Surveillance, which includes the monitoring of presentations of asthma to the NHS. The UKHSA also provides weekly updates via publicly available surveillance bulletins, which are available at the following link:

In addition to this work, the Met Office provides alerts and advice when pollen levels are high. These alerts provide valuable information on pollen levels over the next five days for asthmatics and hayfever sufferers, so they can appropriately modify their planned future activities, and ensure they use or have their medication with them.

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