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Working with NHS South Yorkshire to tackle asthma symptoms in children

Published: 07/05/2024
NHS Asthma Day

We're pleased to be working with NHS South Yorkshire to improve the living conditions and health of children with asthma.

Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition in children in the UK, with around 1 in 11 children and young people living with asthma.

We've teamed up with South Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Alliance, to make sure children and young people with asthma who live in our properties, have the best possible health outcomes.

Respiratory nurses at Barnsley Hospital are working closely with us to make sure our homes of asthma patients aren’t making their symptoms worse. For example, homes that don’t have adequate ventilation and heating can become damp and mouldy and make asthma, and other respiratory conditions, worse.

Zena Thomas, Children’s Respiratory Nurse Specialist at Barnsley Hospital, explains: “When we see children in our asthma clinics, or when they have been admitted to the children’s assessment unit or ward following an asthma attack, we discuss with the family any environmental triggers that could be contributing to the patient’s symptoms. These could be issues such as damp and mould in the home. We support the family to fill in the Berneslai Homes ‘Healthy Homes’ checklist which helps identify any issues in the home that could maybe make respiratory symptoms worse.

“Our new partnership also allows us to liaise with the service managers at Berneslai Homes directly, to help resolve specific issues in the home that are likely having a negative effect on the child’s respiratory health. These can then be dealt with urgently to prevent the child getting more unwell”.

It is hoped through this new partnership, children will have significantly fewer asthma symptoms, reducing the risk of a life-threatening asthma attack. This not only has a positive impact on the child’s health but can increase school attendance and ability to participate in sporting activities – things that are regularly inhibited by unmanaged asthma.

Dave Fullen, Executive Director of Customer and Estate Services from Berneslai homes added: "The right home environment is critical to good physical health and wellbeing. Good quality, safe housing helps everyone stay healthy. At Berneslai Homes we are pleased to be working closely with our colleagues at Barnsley Hospital to improve health outcomes for children and families in the homes we manage.”

Although this type of partnership is currently only in Barnsley, South Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Alliance are hoping to replicate this with the hospitals and housing providers in other areas across South Yorkshire.

Other work the Alliance is undertaking to support children and young people living with asthma includes, the South Yorkshire Asthma Friendly Schools Initiative which aims to improve the care of pupils with asthma by raising awareness through information, training and support for school staff as well as pupils, parents and carers. The initiative was recently launched as a pilot in 8 primary and secondary schools in South Yorkshire.

If you’re a parent or carer of a child with asthma, you can find resources to help support you and your child here Moving On Asthma (Resources for Young People) :: Healthier Together (sybhealthiertogether.nhs.uk).


Registered address:

10th floor, Gateway Plaza, off Sackville St, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2RD

Berneslai Homes Limited is a company controlled by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 4548803