I cant believe it was 365 days ago since the last World Asthma Day and 6 years since I really embarked on my journey into Patient and Public Involvement. I cant believe that when I did this newspaper article for World Asthma Day in 2014 I had no idea about where it would take me.
This year was a very different year to most as there is no ability to meet people or do anything out in public to raise awareness of how serious asthma. I mean it must be the only condition that has had no improvement in treatments or death rate in the last 6 years since the National Review of Asthma Deaths was published. When this came out 3 people died everyday in the UK due to asthma and 2 thirds of those deaths could be prevented. Today 3 people still die each day from asthma attacks and 2 thirds of them can still be prevented. This is really unacceptable.
Just now I recognise that perhaps now is not the time to challenge the government and health ministers on asthma stats as COVID-19 is far more important just now.
I spent a long time thinking about what I could do for World Asthma Day and decided to host an asthma web chat!! I have hosted a twitter chat before and an instagram live session but never hosted a web chat. I have been interviewed loads and spoken in public a lot but this was totally new territory.
I was super nervous as had posted a lot about it on social media and was really worried that no one would be interested and want details of the web chat or no one would actually log into the web chat itself. I was so relieved when lots of people joined me on World Asthma Day.
It was great to be joined by people I knew and those who I didnt know. the conversation was really free flowing and after the chat everyone was keen for another meeting which I am going to do again.
I do need to give a huge shout out to the British Lung Foundation who tweeted about my web chat on World Asthma Day and giving me their support. I am hoping that in time this will become a regular thing and I can host more chats because it was really beneficial for those who are shielding and don’t have any social contact just now.
My next web chat is going to be on the 19th May 2020 at 2pm. Message me for details!