One hundred emergency admissions a week are made to hospital in Doncaster by people suffering breathing difficulties, new figures reveal.
And now health chiefs have launched a pilot scheme aimed at dramatically reducing that number.
The initiative has been funded by NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group following research that shows 95 per cent of patients who are issued with an inhaler can’t use it properly.
The borough’s community based pharmacists are now providing free individual training sessions for inhaler users to ensure they get the best results from their medication.
Dr Nick Tupper, chair of the CCG, said: “Under our new scheme, patients prescribed an inhaler will be offered the training session when they need a new one and existing users can call in at a pharmacy to check they are using the equipment properly.
“We know many people with ongoing respiratory problems are not getting the maximum benefit from their inhaler simply because they are not using the correct technique, such as breathing at the appropriate time and pace when they inhale.
“We’re hoping that, by being shown how to improve their technique, people will see an improvement in their health.
“Another benefit will be a financial saving to the NHS by making more efficient use of the inhalers, some of which cost more than £60 each.”
Armthorpe dad-of-two James Garrison, aged 38, has suffered five asthma attacks - and describes the inhaler training he received from a local pharmacist as a potential life saver after seeing the health benefits within a week. Sales manager James, who started with asthma 20 years ago, took advantage of the free new scheme at his local chemist where pharmacist Claire Thomas showed him how to use his inhaler properly.