What is an asthma action plan?
Everyone with asthma can benefit from using an asthma action plan.
It tells you, and anyone with you:
- which medicines you take every day to prevent symptoms and cut your risk of an asthma attack
- what to do if your asthma symptoms are getting worse
- the emergency action to take if you’re having an asthma attack and when to call 999.
You fill it in with your GP or asthma nurse, so it’s personal to you and your asthma.
Then take it along to all your asthma appointments, including any out-of-hours appointments or A&E, so your doctor or asthma nurse can help you keep it up to date.
“Experts recommend asthma action plans to look after your asthma well and cut your risk of an asthma attack,” says Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma + Lung UK’s in-house GP.
“If your GP or asthma nurse hasn’t offered you an asthma action plan, don’t be afraid to ask them for one. Show them the one you’ve downloaded here and ask them to help you fill it in.”
Find out more about action plans for children.
How to get an asthma action plan
If you’re not using an asthma action plan yet, it’s easy to get started:
- Download an asthma action plan here. If you can, print out a copy to take to your GP or asthma nurse.
- Book an asthma appointment with your GP or asthma nurse.
- At the appointment, talk through the plan with your GP or asthma nurse and fill it in together. You can do this by telephone or video call too if your appointment isn’t in the surgery. Ask them to save a copy onto your notes and send it to you by email, SMS or WhatsApp.
You can also get an asthma action plan in Welsh.
3 ways to get the most out of your asthma action plan
1. Keep it where you can see it
Stick it on the fridge, keep it with your medicines, or ask your GP or asthma nurse for a digital copy, so you can save it on your phone. That way it’s always easy to find when you need it.
2. Share it with others
Whether it’s a paper or a digital copy, think about sharing your asthma action plan with friends, family, co-workers and fitness coaches, so they know what to do if you have an asthma attack.
3. Check it once a month
Put a reminder on your phone or in your diary to check you’re taking your everyday medicines, and that you know what to do if your symptoms get worse.