Pilot launched in Oldham to support children and young people tackle respiratory illness

23 May 2023

Clinicians at The Royal Oldham Hospital are taking part in an important programme to prevent children and young people developing long-term breathing problems. 

Working alongside NHS Greater Manchester, Health Innovation Manchester, ABL Health and Your Health Oldham, it has been identified that one of the greatest healthcare inequality challenges in Greater Manchester is paediatric asthma. 

This innovative pilot has been launched at the hospital’s paediatric ward and will look to support children and young people who are admitted with asthma investigating whether they smoke or live in a smoking household.

The hospital will assess children and young people who are admitted with asthma or other respiratory illness and offer Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) testing. This will monitor inflammation of the lungs allowing the clinical team to decide on the right treatment. If the cause is smoking related, they will be given advice on how they can be smoke-free with nicotine replacement therapy in addition to being offered post-discharge support.  

Ricky Barber, Children’s Unit Manager at The Royal Oldham Hospital said: “We know that having asthma or respiratory illness can be a very scary and upsetting experience for children and young people. 

“Through this pilot, we can identify children and young people whose problems may be caused by smoking or living in a smoking household. In those cases, we offer support and advice to avoid this becoming a long-term health issue that can follow that child or young person their whole life.  

“Smoking amongst young people is a prominent health inequality within the Oldham area, whether it be through first-hand or second-hand smoke. My colleagues and I are passionate about this important project to tackle a really serious issue.” 

The programme aims to address local healthcare inequalities experienced by deprived and other under-served populations. Project teams from across the country are working together with their local communities to identify, address and minimise healthcare inequalities through projects to improve access to the latest health technologies and medicines.

The pilot is part of the wider Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme (InHIP) is a unique collaboration between the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC)NHS England’s National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme and the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and delivered in partnership with integrated care systems (ICSs).


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