Respiratory diseases affect 1-in-5 people and are the third biggest cause of death in England. NHS England recognises respiratory diseases as the main cause  of  winter pressures: unplanned hospital admissions for respiratory diseases doubles in winter.

Respiratory conditions affecting children under the age of 5 years are associated with higher risk of developing respiratory diseases throughout life, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which cost the NHS £4.9bn per year. That is why keeping at risk individuals well and at home this winter is an NHS England priority.

Children and adults living in poverty are more likely to develop and die from respiratory diseases, and the difference in outcomes between the most and least deprived in England is widening. The reasons for this health inequality are complex, making identifying groups of people at risk challenging. In response to respiratory health inequalities, policy makers have commissioned pilot projects which target those things that put people at risk that can be changed. For projects like these to receive long term funding, it is vital to understand the impact they have on families and on healthcare services.

This project will use data that is already collected  to achieve two goals:

  1. To identify groups of children at particular risk of needing emergency healthcare for respiratory conditions this winter. The things that put people at risk which can be changed by government policy will be identified for these children, helping services provide tailored support for better lung health.
  2. To measure the impact of existing pilot projects addressing respiratory health inequalities in Cheshire and Mersey (C&M)
  • NHS  England funded a pilot scheme embedding Parent Champions in Children’s Centres to educate new and expectant parents on key public health messages on child respiratory health and explain risk factors caused by being less well off, signposting and referring to other services  where appropriate.
  • The C&M Integrated Care System service that provides remote, in home care is the largest of its kind in England. It is designed to prevent people needing to go to hospital. The service is undergoing an expansion (sped up in response to winter pressures) to provide home-based care for at-risk individuals to help    prevent  them needing to go to hospital.