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Written Question
Asthma: Medical Treatments
16 Sep 2021

Questioner: Yvonne Fovargue (LAB - Makerfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many severe asthma patients are receiving biologic therapies through (a) the severe asthma networks and (b) other services.

Answered by Jo Churchill

No estimate has been made and information on the number of severe asthma patients are receiving biologic therapies is not available in the format requested.

Clinicians are responsible for making prescribing decisions for their patients, taking into account the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s technology appraisals and guidance on management of asthma and the local commissioning decisions. Prescribing of biologics for severe asthma is co-ordinated through severe asthma centre multi-disciplinary teams to ensure current treatments are optimised and all appropriate treatments are considered with use of biologics as part of the treatment review for each patient.


Written Question
Asthma: Medical Treatments
10 Sep 2021

Questioner: Yvonne Fovargue (LAB - Makerfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what help is available for asthma sufferers to enable them to continue to self-administer their medication due to the pressures on the NHS during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Specialist respiratory services for severe asthma, along with urgent and emergency treatment for other serious complaints, have continued throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. In most cases people with severe asthma have been able to receive their medication at home instead of having to attend hospital.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence COVID-19 rapid guideline on severe asthma promoted the use of home delivery for biologic treatments to maintain access and reduce the risks to patients of COVID-19 exposure. The NHS England severe asthma ‘Accelerated Access Collaborative’ will continue to focus on the area of home administration.


Written Question
Asthma: Health Services
28 Jul 2021

Questioner: Yvonne Fovargue (LAB - Makerfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he has made on the roll out of asthma diagnostic hubs, set out in NICE Guidance NG80.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Community Diagnostic Hubs (CDHs), which diagnose a number of conditions, will be launched in place of asthma diagnostic hubs. Diagnostics for respiratory conditions are part of the proposed ‘core’ services to be provided by CDHs. A review of diagnostics in the NHS Long Term Plan, highlighted that patients with respiratory symptoms would benefit from this facility due to the number of diagnostic tests that they use.

In 2021/22, £325 million has been allocated for diagnostic services. Discussions on how funding will be allocated are ongoing. Plans for mobilisation of CDHs from across England are currently under review. NHS England and NHS Improvement have approved the mobilisation of some early adopter sites from summer 2021 with more CDHs opening from autumn 2021.


Written Question
Asthma: Health Services
27 Jul 2021

Questioner: Yvonne Fovargue (LAB - Makerfield)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to restore severe asthma referrals to pre-covid-19 levels.

Answered by Jo Churchill

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon MP) on 7 July to Question 13943.


Written Question
Asthma: Health Services
7 Jul 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that referrals to care for people with asthma return to the level they were at prior to the covid-19 outbreak; and what his timeframe is for reaching that level of asthma referrals.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Specialist respiratory services for severe asthma have continued during the COVID-19 outbreak. In most cases people with severe asthma have been supported through remote consultations and biologic medication has been delivered at home. We have made £1 billion available to the National Health Service in 2021/22 to support the recovery of elective services, including referrals for patients with asthma. In secondary care, average waiting times have reduced by more than 40% since July 2020.


Written Question
Asthma: Health Services
7 Jul 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on referrals to secondary care and specialist asthma centres for people with asthma.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Specialist respiratory services for severe asthma have continued during the COVID-19 outbreak. In most cases people with severe asthma have been supported through remote consultations and biologic medication has been delivered at home. We have made £1 billion available to the National Health Service in 2021/22 to support the recovery of elective services, including referrals for patients with asthma. In secondary care, average waiting times have reduced by more than 40% since July 2020.


Written Question
Asthma: Health Services
1 Jul 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report published in November 2020 by the all-party Parliamentary group on Respiratory Health entitled Improving Asthma Outcomes in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Jo Churchill

NHS England and NHS Improvement have considered the report, which sets out a balanced appraisal of asthma outcomes in the United Kingdom, including recommendations to achieve improvements.

In line with the report, the Academic Health Science Networks in England, in partnership with the Patient Safety Collaboratives, have been commissioned to work with provider organisations to improve the uptake of all elements as appropriate of the British Thoracic Society’s asthma care bundle for patients admitted to hospital due to asthma in England.

An update to the General Practitioner (GP) Contract for 2020-21 to 2023-24 includes an improved Quality Outcome Framework (QOF) asthma domain. This incorporates aspects of care positively associated with better patient outcomes and asthma control. Including, as advised in the report, an assessment of inhaler technique. The QOF also ensures that all GP practices establish and maintain a register of patients with an asthma diagnosis in accordance with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance. It includes improved respiratory indicators, as implemented from April 2021.


Written Question
Asthma: Drugs
22 Jun 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative's (AAC) rapid uptake programme for asthma biologic therapies in response to the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on the work of the AAC.

Answered by Edward Argar

The Department, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and NHS England and NHS Improvement set the objective of reaching the upper quartile of uptake in relation to comparator countries for the five highest health gain categories during the first half of the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access, which was published in 2019. This objective is not intended as a target for the prescription of medicines. Medicines prescribing, including the highest health gain categories, remains a decision between the clinician and patient in line with guidance and recommendations made by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

When selecting the countries for international comparison of uptake of the five highest health gain categories, NHS England and NHS Improvement looked for countries with similar health systems and populations to England. NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an independent third party to develop an objective methodology to compare uptake rate between countries.

The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) worked closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement in the identification of potential five highest health gain categories for support through its Rapid Uptake Products programme. Following the open selection process, asthma biologics were selected for tailored support to increase their adoption in the National Health Service for the treatment of severe asthma as part of the 2021/22 programme. The Academic Health Science Networks are also providing leadership and support to NHS organisations to implement changes to transform severe asthma services locally and improve access to these medicines. Support for the programme will continue to be kept under review.


Written Question
Respiratory System: Drugs
22 Jun 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of selecting countries in the Office for Life Sciences Life Science Competitiveness Indicators to form the comparator countries as detailed in article 3.57 of the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access agreement within respiratory, relating to five highest health gains ambitions.

Answered by Edward Argar

The Department, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and NHS England and NHS Improvement set the objective of reaching the upper quartile of uptake in relation to comparator countries for the five highest health gain categories during the first half of the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access, which was published in 2019. This objective is not intended as a target for the prescription of medicines. Medicines prescribing, including the highest health gain categories, remains a decision between the clinician and patient in line with guidance and recommendations made by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

When selecting the countries for international comparison of uptake of the five highest health gain categories, NHS England and NHS Improvement looked for countries with similar health systems and populations to England. NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an independent third party to develop an objective methodology to compare uptake rate between countries.

The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) worked closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement in the identification of potential five highest health gain categories for support through its Rapid Uptake Products programme. Following the open selection process, asthma biologics were selected for tailored support to increase their adoption in the National Health Service for the treatment of severe asthma as part of the 2021/22 programme. The Academic Health Science Networks are also providing leadership and support to NHS organisations to implement changes to transform severe asthma services locally and improve access to these medicines. Support for the programme will continue to be kept under review.


Written Question
Respiratory System: Drugs
22 Jun 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to article 3.57 of the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access agreement within respiratory, relating to the five highest health gains ambitions, who is responsible for the delivery of increased uptake of that target, when that target is planned to be set, and whether Accelerated Access Collaborative is planned to be involved in that matter.

Answered by Edward Argar

The Department, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and NHS England and NHS Improvement set the objective of reaching the upper quartile of uptake in relation to comparator countries for the five highest health gain categories during the first half of the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access, which was published in 2019. This objective is not intended as a target for the prescription of medicines. Medicines prescribing, including the highest health gain categories, remains a decision between the clinician and patient in line with guidance and recommendations made by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

When selecting the countries for international comparison of uptake of the five highest health gain categories, NHS England and NHS Improvement looked for countries with similar health systems and populations to England. NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an independent third party to develop an objective methodology to compare uptake rate between countries.

The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) worked closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement in the identification of potential five highest health gain categories for support through its Rapid Uptake Products programme. Following the open selection process, asthma biologics were selected for tailored support to increase their adoption in the National Health Service for the treatment of severe asthma as part of the 2021/22 programme. The Academic Health Science Networks are also providing leadership and support to NHS organisations to implement changes to transform severe asthma services locally and improve access to these medicines. Support for the programme will continue to be kept under review.


Written Question
Respiratory System: Drugs
22 Jun 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the progress on delivery against article 3.57 of the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access agreement within respiratory, relating to five highest health gain categories.

Answered by Edward Argar

The Department, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and NHS England and NHS Improvement set the objective of reaching the upper quartile of uptake in relation to comparator countries for the five highest health gain categories during the first half of the Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access, which was published in 2019. This objective is not intended as a target for the prescription of medicines. Medicines prescribing, including the highest health gain categories, remains a decision between the clinician and patient in line with guidance and recommendations made by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

When selecting the countries for international comparison of uptake of the five highest health gain categories, NHS England and NHS Improvement looked for countries with similar health systems and populations to England. NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an independent third party to develop an objective methodology to compare uptake rate between countries.

The Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) worked closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement in the identification of potential five highest health gain categories for support through its Rapid Uptake Products programme. Following the open selection process, asthma biologics were selected for tailored support to increase their adoption in the National Health Service for the treatment of severe asthma as part of the 2021/22 programme. The Academic Health Science Networks are also providing leadership and support to NHS organisations to implement changes to transform severe asthma services locally and improve access to these medicines. Support for the programme will continue to be kept under review.


Written Question
Asthma: Health Services
18 Jun 2021

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the November 2020 report of the all-party Parliamentary group for Respiratory Health entitled Improving Asthma Outcomes in the UK, whether his Department has plans to establish unified asthma guidelines as recommended in that report.

Answered by Jo Churchill

The British Thoracic Society, Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have begun work to develop a joint guideline relating to asthma care. The recruitment process for the roles of guideline group co-chair and topic expert is underway, with the first scoping workshop due to take place on 6 August 2021. The likely publication date is 2023.


Written Question
Asthma: Health Services
3 Jun 2021

Questioner: Baroness Masham of Ilton (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by Asthma UK Asthma Care in a Crisis, published on 5 May, what plans they have to improve the percentage of people with asthma who are receiving all elements of basic asthma care.

Answered by Lord Bethell

The content of the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) asthma review, which ensures all general practitioner practices establish and maintain a register of patients with an asthma diagnosis, has been amended to incorporate the key elements of basic asthma care positively associated with better patient outcomes and self-management, including:

- An assessment of asthma control;

- A recording of the number of exacerbations;

- An assessment of inhaler technique; and

- A written personalised asthma action plan.

The QOF for 2021/22 has been implemented from April 2021 with these updated indicators for asthma.


Written Question
Asthma: Health Services
3 Jun 2021

Questioner: Baroness Masham of Ilton (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by Asthma UK Asthma Care in a Crisis, published on 5 May, what plans they have to ensure that people who are most at risk of having an asthma attack are (1) prioritised, and (2) seen face-to-face, when clinically necessary.

Answered by Lord Bethell

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s rapid guidance, on severe asthma during the pandemic recommends using technology to reduce in-person appointments. However, guidance on face-to-face appointments throughout the pandemic has been in line with clinical need.

Work is continuing to recover primary care services, including services for asthma patients, to an appropriate level balance between phone/online and face to face appointments. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s updated practice on standard operating procedures for patient consultations states that although the use of video and remote consultations may be suitable for some people, face to face appointments will be offered.


Written Question
Lung Diseases
24 May 2021

Questioner: Lord Mendelsohn (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what role charities have played in collecting data for asthma and lung conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; and what role they plan for charities who could collect such data to have in any future pandemics.

Answered by Lord Bethell

During the COVID-19 pandemic charities such as the British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK partnership and those working under the umbrella of the Lung Health Taskforce have collected data by conducting patient surveys and producing several reports.

The patient surveys and research have provided the NHS England and NHS Improvement with useful insight into the experience of patients with lung disease during the pandemic, particularly their priorities and level of confidence in accessing services and how remote care can be best used. No assessment has yet been made of what role charities will have during future pandemics in collecting data for asthma and lung conditions.