ASTHMA care needs to improve according to a new report by patient watchdog Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen.

The survey found that while the quality of asthma care is mainly good, not all patients are receiving consistent primary care at all surgeries.

One person surveyed also said that better asthma management training is needed in schools so staff know what to do if a child has an asthma attack.

Findings have emerged as figures show Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire have the highest number of children and young people with asthma admitted to hospital each year.

In 2016-17, there were 401.5 per 100,000 asthma-related hospital admissions in 0-19 year olds in Blackburn with Darwen, compared to 316.5 in Lancashire and South Cumbria and just 199.7 in England.

Healthwatch spoke to 85 young people and parents/carers in Blackburn with Darwen over the course of the project.

One parent said: "I have not been given any support from the GP practice to manage my child’s asthma.”

Another parent said: “Asthma management training is needed in all schools as my son had an asthma attack in school in January 2016.

“The staff had no idea what to do even though an action plan had been provided at the start of the school year.

“My son then spent eight days in hospital on oxygen and nebulisers.”

Another added: “GPs don’t have the correct asthma info or give correct inhaler techniques.”

Healthwatch said in the report that encouraging people to self-manage their asthma was key to helping reduce hospital admissions.

They said this would require support from healthcare professionals to support parents/carers and children with self-management with a combination of education, awareness and Asthma plans.

The report added: “We need to ensure that schools, youth organisations, parents and GPs are equipped with the information to best manage asthma and request medical attention when struggling with this. The National Review of Asthma Deaths highlighted that there were many cases where lives could have been saved if only people had taken medicines regularly as prescribed, carried a reliever inhaler and sought help much earlier when their asthma got worse.”

Dr Stuart Berry, clinical respiratory lead at Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “We recognise that we have a lot of young people living with asthma in Pennine Lancashire so we know how important it is that young people and parents understand as much as they can about the condition, and how to self-manage the condition to have a better quality of life.

“The CCGs have been working with Learn Live the Lancashire educational broadcast company to broadcast information about living with asthma. This involved an interactive live broadcast web streamed free to classes – to enable children and teachers, to find out more about asthma, how to manage it and what to do in case of an asthma attack.”