Hospital and community teams

1) Hospital and community team

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  • All families in the UK have a family doctor as the centre of your health world
  • They take a medical history.
  • Make the diagnosis of asthma and explain what this means.
  • Listen to your child’s lungs.
  • Refer to the practice nurse for follow up appointments, inhaler technique and action plan
  • Prescribe medication – inhalers as appropriate.
  • Refer & communicate with consultant paediatrician at the hospital if needed. Most of the treatment your child will need can be done by the GP. Ask if one of the GP’s at your practice has a special interest in asthma care.

Practice nurse

  • Most practices have a nurse
  • They take general observations
  • Teach inhaler technique
  • Provide personalised asthma action plan
  • Perform simple peak flow tests if over 5 years
  • Provide advice support and education to families about their child’s asthma
  • They can also prescribe some medications and inhalers

Health visitor

  • Every family with children under five has a named health visitor
  • Their role is varied, including prevention, helping people to stay healthy and avoid illness.
  • Health visitors are qualified registered nurses with specialist qualifications.
  • They offer support and encouragement to families through the early years from pregnancy and birth to primary school and beyond.
  • They work closely with GP’s and cover the geographical area of the GP practice.

School nurse

  • Every family with school aged children has a named school nurse linked to your child’s school.
  • The school nurse serves as a link between families, school staff and your child’s health team.
  • They do a great deal of health promotion activities in school including obesity awareness, sun sense and sexual health.
  • They carry out health screenings.
  • The school nurse works with education staff to develop school health policies and programs.
  • They provide guidance for the delivery of health services in schools.


  • Every family needs a local pharmacist (chemist)
  • Review current medication
  • Dispense medication
  • General advice about medicines and inhalers
  • Advice about inhaler technique
  • Explain what your medication is for and any side effects
  • Can help with repeat or regular prescriptions

Consultant paediatrician

  • Not every child with asthma will need a hospital consultant
  • Your GP will discuss with you and refer to hospital service if needed
  • They review your child’s medical history
  • They listen to your child’s lungs
  • They can change or prescribe new inhalers or tablets
  • Refer to children’s asthma nurse specialist
  • Refer for breathing tests if needed (over 6 years old only)

Children’s asthma nurse specialist

  • If your child is referred to the hospital asthma team they may also meet the specialist nurse.
  • Nurse review medication and inhaler technique
  • They can also prescribe some medications and inhalers
  • Provide personalised asthma action plans
  • Review any problems family may be having
  • Home visit if the child has difficult to control asthma
  • Point of contact between appointments
  • General observations
  • Perform simple peak flow dependant on age (over 5 years only)

Paediatric respiratory physiologist

  • Some children who come to the hospital service might need to see the physiologist
  • Only for children over 6 years old as younger children can’t do lung function tests well
  • Assess full lung function
  • Assess effectiveness of inhaled treatment
  • Assess hypersensitivity using challenge tests
  • Report findings to respiratory consultant

Paediatric respiratory physiotherapist

  • Occasionally, some children may need to see the respiratory physiotherapist.
  • They can provide specialist advice and treatment for dysfunctional breathing such as hyperventilation.
  • They can teach your child how to relax and retrain their breathing

Paediatric psychologist

  • Occasionally some children and families find that their health makes them feel worried, anxious, low mood or angry
  • Children’s clinical psychologists can reduce emotional distress caused by a health condition.
  • They promote psychological well-being.
  • Psychologists work with children and families to help them understand these feelings and give them ways to cope with these feelings.

Social Worker

  • Occasionally, some families need extra help because their health is impacting on their social circumstances
  • Social workers may help families to get to appointments
  • They can also help families to understand any benefits or grants which they may be entitled to
  • They can help support housing applications

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