Dahlia Davey (4) lives in Folkestone with her mum and dad and younger brother Sebastian (18 months). Dahlia was diagnosed with asthma when she was two. The Davey family belong to a small single-handed GP practice which is very busy and sometimes the family find it hard to make an appointment to see the GP.
Dahlia’s asthma has a tendency to flare up quite frequently, especially in the winter, and she has regular visits to see a specialist nurse, usually at the GP practice.
Dahlia’s mum and dad both work full-time in Ashford and often do not get home until around 8 pm. Her grandmother, Sofia, provides care for Dahlia and Sebastian at their home during the week.
When Dahlia’s asthma flares up, it causes her a lot of distress and makes Sofia very anxious. The flare ups often happen in the evening or during the night.
During a severe flare-up one evening (around 6.30 pm) Sofia rang 111 in a distressed state, because she had never seen Dahlia’s asthma that bad. She found it very difficult to concentrate on answering all the questions and became flustered but did manage after several minutes.
The 111 operator told Sofia that she would make an urgent appointment for her to see the new Invicta Healthcare GP service based at the Royal Victoria Hospital which is open until 8 pm. Because Dahlia is registered with a Folkestone GP the doctor at the hospital is able to see her notes which help her to decide the best course of treatment for Dahlia.
The Invicta Healthcare GP arranges, through the out-of-hour’s provider, an appointment for Dahlia with her GP for the following day for a medication review as she noticed this is due.
Did you know that Asthma UK www.asthma.org.uk have developed a My Asthma Action Plan. This plan is completed filled in by a GP or asthma nurse, after talking with the patient and their family. It will tell them everything they need to know to help manage asthma, including details about asthma medicines, how to tell when symptoms are getting worse and what to do about it. It also tells asthma patients and their carers what to do in an emergency.
- Is there any support that Dahlia’s GP/specialist nurse could give to Sofia to help reassure her when Dahlia has an asthma attack?
- What could be available in the community to support patients like Dahlia and her family?