Tameside’s poor lung health rates revealed

TAMESIDE has come out near the bottom of lung health charts that highlight the severity of the problem.

Charity Asthma and Lung UK uncovered just how serious things are in the borough as it analysed every council area in the country for the rates of emergency hospital admissions and deaths for lung conditions.

And it makes grim reading for Tameside, which was very low down in almost every chart.

Of the 151 local authorities in England that Asthma + Lung UK analysed, Tameside ranked 142nd for rates of emergency admissions and death from lung conditions.

It came in at 146th for asthma admissions, with a rate of 73.73 per 100,000.

The only other local authorities with a higher asthma admission rate were Wirral (85.49), Leicester (80.87), South Tyneside (80.01), Knowsley (78.74), Sefton (75.27) and Northumberland (74.59).

Tameside also has the fifth highest smoking rate in England. 19.2 per cent of adults.

And according to Asthma and Lung UK’s surveys on people with lung conditions, 26.86 per cent of people with asthma in Tameside received the basic elements of care that they are entitled to, such as a written asthma action plan and an inhaler technique check.

That figure drops to 18.52 per cent for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD.)

Nationally, Asthma and Lung UK found people in places such as Liverpool, Blackpool and Manchester are more likely to be admitted to hospital in an emergency and die from their lung condition than elsewhere.

It ranked the latest rates of emergency hospital admissions and deaths from lung conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory infections like flu and pneumonia.

And it uncovered all of the top 10 regions with the highest rates of emergency hospital admissions and deaths for lung conditions in England are in the north of England, with 80 per cent are in the north west.

Knowsley topped the rankings as having the highest rates of emergency hospital admissions and deaths for lung conditions in the whole of England.

Salford, Blackburn with Darwen, Liverpool, Blackpool and Manchester also make the top 10 for the highest rates.

York, Bracknell Forest, Barnet, Kensington and Chelsea, and West Sussex had the lowest rates of emergency admissions and deaths for lung conditions.

Asthma and Lung UK says many of the areas with poor lung health are areas where people experience higher levels of deprivation, which can lead to problems like having no choice but to live in poor quality housing, where cold, damp and mould can all be triggers for asthma attacks or cause lung conditions to worsen.

Some of the areas facing high death and emergency admission rates also have increased levels of air pollution, and high smoking rates in some areas also play a part.

Sarah Woolnough, chief executive at Asthma and Lung UK, said: “It’s appalling that people across the north west are struggling to breathe, are being rushed to hospital in an emergency and that so many are dying avoidably from their lung conditions.

“We know that people in more deprived areas are more likely to have worse lung health, often with no choice but to live in poorer quality housing, more polluted areas with higher smoking rates. We need to tackle the lung health lottery head on.

“To do better, UK governments must address stark inequality in lung health and ensure the NHS has the resources to support its dedicated staff.

“People at risk of or living with lung conditions can’t simply move to improve their lung health – it is health inequality we must battle.

“Governments must ensure people living with a lung condition get an early diagnosis, have help quitting smoking, can breathe good quality air and receive the right support and treatment to manage their lung condition well.”

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