Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties. It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood but it can also develop for the first time in adults ( 8 million people – over 12% of the population – have been diagnosed with asthma. This means more people have had an asthma diagnosis than have been diagnosed with all other lung diseases combined. This does not mean that there are 8 million people living with the condition, however. Many children diagnosed with asthma grow out of it. Asthma UK states that around 5.4 million people receive treatment for the disease. Research has also suggested asthma may be considerably over-diagnosed. Further research is needed to understand if this is a more accurate indication of the number of people living with asthma in the UK. Or whether this is an underestimate due to the number of people who no longer take treatment for asthma in adulthood, despite still having symptoms. Data also confirms that the number of people who have had a diagnosis of asthma is plateauing. There has only been a small increase of under 3% in recent years. However, asthma is still the most common lung condition by a considerable margin.

See: British Lung Foundation (2018) Asthma statistics.

Surrey Prescribing Advisory Database (PAD)

The PAD is an innovative resource which can be accessed by healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care and by patients. The PAD provides guidance and key information on medicines use within Surrey.


Asthma (All NICE products)

Asthma Pathway

NG80 Asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma management (2017; Last updated March 2021)

NG166 COVID-19 rapid guideline: severe asthma (2020)


British Guideline on the Management of Asthma (2019)

(Please note: NICE, BTS and SIGN are working towards producing the new Joint Guideline for the Diagnosis, Monitoring and Management of Chronic Asthma)

Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS)

Asthma (May 2021)

NHS England 

National bundle of care for children and young people with asthma (Updated Sept 2021)

NHS RightCare Workstream: Respiratory

BMJ Best Practice 

Point of care tool. Requires an NHS OpenAthens account for access - self-register here

Asthma in adults (Last update March 2021)

Asthma in children (Last update Feb 2021)

Acute asthma exacerbation in adults (Last update July 2021)

Acute asthma exacerbation in children (Last update Aug 2021)

Respiratory forums / Action Learning Sets for your area -Please see the Surrey Training Hub training calendar for dates in your area

Click here to see our Webinars on demand page (respiratory)

Outreach Library Service can identify, collate, and summarise evidence for you, to inform your clinical practice, patient pathways and professional development.

Public Health England

Inhale - INteractive Health Atlas of Lung conditions in England

(Online tool showing data from a range of sources about respiratory diseases including COPD and asthma. It includes data from the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) and ONS mortality.)

Respiratory Focus Pack Tool

The 2nd Atlas of variation in risk factors and healthcare for respiratory disease in England, 2019

Primary Care Respiratory Society Asthma Guidelines in Practice - A PCRS Consensus