Children and Young People with Asthma: Understanding Vulnerabilities and Reducing Health Inequalities

Young People’s Health Partnership are partnering with the Race Equality Foundation and Friends, Families and Travellers on an NHS England funded project to engage with children, young people, and families with asthma, focusing particularly on marginalised groups. The project aims to increase our understanding of the experiences of marginalised children, young people and families affected by asthma. Asthma is the most common long-term condition among children and young people and it particularly effects those living in disadvantaged areas. We already know that Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people are especially affected by the condition but have less knowledge about how particular groups including black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are affected by asthma management and control. A scoping review and engagement through focus groups and one to one interviews will help to identify potential improvements regarding communication about effective care, and hopefully lead to improved health outcomes for children and young people who currently face significant health inequalities.

Project update

We engaged with young people and their families in conversations about asthma management and health inequalities.  We spoke with 16 participants in Luton and London including parents and interviews with three young people aged 10, 19 and 19.  Participants were of Caribbean, Africa, Bangladeshi, Turkish, Pakistani, Kashmiri, Albanian, Somalian, Columbian and Egyptian ethnic backgrounds.

Participants wanted better asthma care through:

  • Access to trusted information in formats that work for young people and using non-clinical language
  • Youth friendly services and care in non-clinical settings that young people can access easily with the opportunity to build relationships with key staff
  • Anti-prejudice training for healthcare staff as the general prejudice that some groups face impacts their asthma care
  • Myth busting in communities to help support the sharing of accurate information and avoid delayed diagnosis
  • Broader education in the community so that teachers, youth workers, sports coaches and wider society better understand the impact

The full engagement report and scoping review can be found here.

For further information on the project, contact Tracey Bignall at