Most patients with asthma are straightforward and can be easily managed in Primary care. Patients should be referred to an asthma specialist if they have features of acute severe or life-threatening asthma. Other factors, such as persistent symptoms despite high therapy, social circumstances or comorbidities, may permit hospital referral.
The shift of care to the community has caused anxiety on the safety of patient management. This statement from the BTS Standards of Care Committee highlighting criteria for specialist outpatient referral, hospitalisation, discharge and follow-up to help the wide range of professionals involved in respiratory care to streamline the management of patients while maintaining a good and safe standard of care.