A Clinical Audit Cycle Examining Inhaler Prescriptions for Asthmatics at Brookside Surgery. Is COVID affecting Asthma Care?


Jasmine Zanelli
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick
Laura Wheeler
University of Warwick


Despite availability of effective treatment, asthma mortality rates in the UK are on the rise with 2019 seeing the highest deaths for 20 years. A recent national report into asthma deaths carried out by the RCP found in up to 50% of cases there were avoidable factors that may have contributed. Based on four key recommendations from this report, an audit into the practice at Brookside surgery revealed particular weaknesses in adherence to annual asthma reviews and over-prescription of short-acting beta agonists (SABA). This study aims to re-audit and assess effectiveness of implementations made post-audit. We will also consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these measures

Aligned with methodology of the original audit, we randomly selected 100 patients currently registered at Brookside surgery and, using EMIS, searched for and recorded their medication history for the preceding 12 months. Searches were also made for evidence of an asthma review and RCP questions.

At re-audit 63% of patients attended for their annual asthma review. This compares to 69% of patients the year prior. The percentage of patients with dangerous SABA use stayed relatively stable with 5% at re-audit compared to 6% previously. However, 10% less patients were using SABA’s at levels which are suggestive of need for clinical review- reducing from 37% to 27%. Further results are still being elucidated

 Key messages

The shift to virtual management of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic does not appear to have significantly impacted adherence to annual asthma reviews. On further inspection of our data we will try and establish whether this also translates to maintaining safe inhaler prescriptions.

December 30, 2020