The Evans Pharmacy group is launching a series of in-house support clinics to offer asthma suffers advice and guidance on proper inhaler technique.
Jane Hutt was at Evans Pharmacy on Park Crescent in Barry on Tuesday 3rd May and spoke with staff regarding the service as well as wider pharmacy issues.
In a recent report the British Thoracic Society, in partnership with Asthma UK, stated that proper inhaler technique was a critical step in asthma care, with research suggesting that using an inhaler correctly can radically improve treatment, reducing attacks and hospital admissions.
Director of Evans Pharmacy, Dr Mo Nazemi, said: “Proper inhaler technique is far too often overlooked but it can be the difference between a mild and a severe attack. During an asthma attack the muscles surrounding the airways tighten making it difficult to breath. Inhalers work by releasing a short acting beta2-agonist, relaxing the muscles surrounding the narrowed airway, allowing them to open wider. However, if the inhaler is not correctly applied, the full relaxing effect cannot be achieved.
“There are many relevant studies but there is no need to look further than Wales. A recent study undertaken by J. A Benjamin and others in the respiratory medicine unit of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in the Cwm Taf University Health Board, was published in the European Respiratory Journal. The study showed that giving proper inhaler training resulted in a 10% reduction in hospital admissions for asthma related issues over a 2 year period. If you replicate that across Wales where 314,000 (one in 10 people) are treated for Asthma, you could see 31,400 less admissions per year. It’s a real issue and it needs highlighting.”
Evans Pharmacy, which has 10 locations across south and west Wales, is hosting the clinics as part of an asthma awareness month, to raise awareness of the dangers of poor inhaler technique.
Dr Nazemi continued: “When you look at access to asthma support services a recent report released by Asthma UK in 2014 found that 86% of sufferers in Wales did not feel they were able to access appropriate care, that’s the joint worst results in the UK.
“We are looking to address this by holding an open door policy this month. Anyone wishing to get training in proper inhaler technique, along with a discussion of what triggers their attacks can simply pop along to one of nominated pharmacies across south and west Wales and get the help they need.”
The minister for Finance and Government Business, Jane Hutt attended the pharmacy in Barry, and upon her visit Mrs Hutt said: “I am delighted that Evans Pharmacy is taking the initiative by offering customers advice on asthma, and I look forward to seeing it implemented in Barry in the near future.”
The full clinics will be available in Glen Pharmacy (Tenby), Seafront Pharmacies (Tenby), Medical Hall Pharmacy (St Clears), Ty Elli Pharmacy (Llanelli), and Machynys Pharmacy (Morfa). However, general advice is available at all Evans Pharmacy locations including Mumbles, Barry, Abercarn, Cwmcarn and Ynysddu.