Skip to the content

Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Solent NHS Trust Children’s Asthma Nurse shares care advice for parents at a time of uncertainty

Ahead of World Asthma Day (5 May 2020) a Solent NHS Trust Children’s Asthma Nurse (CCAN) has given out valuable advice for parents and children who suffer with the condition at a time where they have been classified as some of the most vulnerable in our society. Asthma is amongst the most common long-term health conditions and it is estimated that 1 in 11 children are affected.

COVID-19 effects the lungs and can make breathing extremely difficult. Those who are suffering with severe Asthma and other respiratory conditions are being told to stay indoors in order to ‘shield’ themselves against the virus, however this does not mean that they cannot access the usual treatment they need in order to stay safe and well at home.

At Solent, the health and safety of our patients and staff is paramount, and our services are continuing to run, with teams now working differently to delivering care to their patients, through the help of digital innovations such as video consultations and telephone calls.

Alyson Pearce is a Children’s Community Asthma Nurse working in the Portsmouth area. The Solent Children’s Asthma service is a specialist team for children diagnosed as asthmatic. The team works with GPs, practice nurses and the hospital respiratory team to help keep children safe and well, and during these difficult times, are continuing to stay connected, delivering the best care and support to patients and their families.

“We are continuing to run our clinics, supporting our patients via telephone calls and video consultations. As you can expect, parents with vulnerable children are quite anxious at the moment and we are making sure we remain to be there for them. We are running a full service and I have spoken to each of my patients whilst working from home.

“Asthma care at its core is in fact, quite simple.  If you get the basics right, symptoms are generally manageable. The best thing patients can do is ensure they are taking their Asthma preventer medication every day as prescribed, to keep their Asthma as controlled as possible. Any cold or illness should be managed by following the child’s asthma plan and acting as you would have previously. If you are worried about your child you must seek medical attention via your GP, 111 service or check in with your Asthma nurse. These services are still open for business.

“One of the most common mistakes we see is children or teenagers who do not have a plan or are not following the recommendations made by their GP.  Another common error is inhaler technique.  For children, we recommend administering the metred dosage inhaler with a spacer. Using a spacer makes it easier to get the right amount of medicine straight to the lungs, where it's needed the most. If your technique is not right, it’s likely your child will not receive the right dose.

“Measures like checking peak flow can be useful to keep track of the condition in older children. Peak flow measures the air flowing out of your lungs and can show if your airways are narrowing. This can help you keep track and manage your child’s symptoms promptly.

“It is also important to have a regular asthma review with your GP if your child has symptoms in between colds, this can be done over the phone if needed. This allows them to evaluate any asthma medication and make changes as needed. Your GP can refer you to this service if you would like more support.

“I’m passionate about providing the best care for my patients and their families and hope that these simple steps will help both children and adults who are living with the condition at this uncertain and worrying time.”

Five simple steps to help manage your Asthma symptoms

  • Always take your prevention medication as prescribed
  • Always keep your reliever inhaler close (along with a spacer for children)
  • Check your or your child’s inhaler technique; are you administering the full dose?
  • Follow your Asthma plan and attend an asthma review with your GP or Children’s Community Asthma Nurse as soon as you can (you may be able to do this over the phone or via video consultation, so speak to your GP about this)
  • Seek help if your symptoms have not improved or you are having to use your blue (reliever) inhaler more than two times a week when well

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Please visit our services page for specific services and contact details. Alternatively, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by emailing or calling the number below. You can also give us feedback, make a complaint or share a compliment.

0800 013 2319

*Lines are open Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005.

The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.


Phone: 0300 123 3919

*Subject to any exemptions which apply, we are obliged to provide the information requested please note that requests for Personal Information is not covered under this Act and should be applied for through the Data Protection Act 1998.

Our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton.

While our services can be found around various NHS locations in Southampton and Portsmouth (and surrounding districts), our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton at:

Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
SO19 8BR

If you require a printable version of how to find us including bus times, car access and bike info please download our leaflet. (Copyright of Highpoint Venue).

Central office phone: 0300 123 3390

*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact the Communications Team at:

0300 123 4156 or 02381 031076

The Communications Office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.