The Irish College of General Practitioners is the professional body for education, training, research and standards in general practice. In addition to its teaching, training and education activities the College regularly produces general practice publications, guidelines and protocols to assist GPs in their everyday work.
The purpose of the “Asthma-Diagnosis, Assessment and Management in General Practice” quick reference guide is to assist healthcare professionals to improve diagnostic accuracy; assess, treat and monitor asthma; develop an asthma management plan for individual patients; optimise asthma control; and manage exacerbations in line with approved protocols. The document is targeted at those delivering asthma care in primary care and those responsible for training these professionals.
Successful asthma management involves guideline-based treatment and regular follow-up. A significant development in general practice has been the introduction of a new Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Programme in 2020. This Programme is being rolled out on a phased basis to adult GMS and GP visit card patients over a 4-year period.
Patients with an existing diagnosis of one of the specified conditions, including asthma, those who are assessed by their GP on an opportunistic case finding basis, as well as those identified as high risk, will benefit under the programme. In order to support patients in managing their chronic condition(s) there are two scheduled reviews with the GP in a 12-month period, each preceded by a practice nurse visit. These reviews include patient education, preventative care, medication review, physical examinations, scheduled investigations and individual care planning.
GPs participating in the new CDM programme receive enhanced capitation fees as well as an increased practice nurse subsidy.