I read Dr Tricia Donald's editorial on patient-friendly guidelines (Guidelines in Practice, January, Vol 4(1)) with interest.
I am currently involved in producing updated guidelines for the treatment and management of asthma and related respiratory diseases in Ashton PCG.
Ashton is one of three PCGs in the Wigan borough, the others serving Wigan and Leigh. While the SMRs for asthma across the borough are high (>130 for all three PCGs), referrals to secondary care from Ashton PCG are significantly greater than from the other two PCGs. No specific cause has been found for this, although some practices refer more appropriately than others.
One of the main issues that has emerged is poor patient compliance, prompting me to look at how we can improve the way we convey advice and guidance to patients.
I am very interested in Dr Donald's statement that 'all clinical guidelines are to be developed in patient-friendly formats'. It would be helpful to know whether any of the 50 clinical guidelines developed so far at SIGN relate to respiratory illnesses.
Simon Arden-Davies, Chief Executive, Ashton PCG
Editor: We have forwarded Mr Arden-Davies' letter to Dr Donald, for a reply.
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