Inhaler technique

About the project

The Nottingham City CCG Inhaler Technique Project, launched in May 2013, is a two-year programme to help patients who use inhalers to reduce the symptoms of their asthma or COPD.

The aim is to ensure all healthcare professionals can teach inhaler technique to patients and that every patient is helped to improve at every opportunity.

Background

Research has shown that a high percentage of patients don't use their inhalers properly. Correct inhaler technique is crucial – when used effectively, 20 per cent of the medication reaches the lungs (the other 80 per cent being swallowed); with a poor technique that drops to between 0 and 10 per cent.

Research has also shown that many health professionals who teach patients how to use their inhalers could also benefit from training in their use, so that they are better able to train and support their patients.

The Nottingham City project is based on a successful scheme on the Isle of Wight, which resulted in reducing the number patient attendances at accident and emergency departments due to respiratory exacerbations, and reduced prescribing costs for respiratory conditions.

The project steering group members include a GP, pharmacists, respiratory nurse specialists and a project co-ordinator.