New drive to fight asthma in children

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Hospitals, schools and doctors' surgeries will be told to overhaul the way they treat children with asthma under reforms to be unveiled by ministers this week.

Hospitals, schools and doctors' surgeries will be told to overhaul the way they treat children with asthma under reforms to be unveiled by ministers this week.

In a victory for The Independent on Sunday's campaign to help Britain's asthmatics, John Reid and Charles Clarke, the Health and Education Secretaries, have put the condition at the heart of a 10-year strategy to improve children's health and welfare services.

The proposals aim to transform the lives of the UK's 1.4 million child asthmatics, who suffer from inadequate treatment in hospitals and GPs' clinics, and from ignorance on the part of some school staff which, on occasion, has proved fatal.

On Wednesday Mr Reid and Mr Clarke will launch the new strategy as part of a new National Service Framework for children's services. The reforms are likely to force many health trusts to employ more asthma nurses, set up specialist clinics and introduce personal "asthma action plans" for every child.

GPs' clinics will be asked to liaise with each child's headteacher about their illness, and schools will be expected to ensure a child's teacher and the school nurse are aware of their condition.

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