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Rosie Reading and Emma Bushell (centre) receive the Respiratory Nursing AwardA dedicated Children’s Asthma Bus service has won a prestigious award for its work to drive down hospital admissions among children in Slough.

The initiative, run by specialist nurses at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and funded by Slough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), won the Respiratory Nursing category at the Nursing Times Awards 2017.

The glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House in London’s Park Lane on Thursday 2 November saw nurses and organisations from the profession honoured across 23 categories.

First launched in 2016, when it was funded by Frimley Health’s charitable funds committee, the Children’s Asthma Bus service visits 16 secondary schools in the Slough area during two weeks in September. This is when hospital admissions among young asthma patients have historically risen.

Children with asthma and related respiratory conditions are invited aboard the bus to have their inhaler technique reviewed and to learn about the effect of allergens on asthma.

In 2016 the initiative helped 410 young asthma patients to better manage their condition. In 2017 that number rose to 559.

The service is led by respiratory nurse specialists Emma Bushell and Rosie Reading, who are both based at Wexham Park Hospital, one of three hospitals run by Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

They were joined at the awards ceremony by hospital and CCG colleagues who together form the Slough Paediatric Asthma Service.

Emma said: “We were delighted to win the Respiratory Nursing category in this year’s Nursing Times Awards. One in 11 children in the UK has asthma and in 2014 Slough had the highest hospital admission rate in England for the condition.

“Since its launch the Children’s Asthma Bus has been really well received at each school it has visited. It has given hundreds of young people with asthma the tools and knowledge to better manage their condition, reducing their need to come into hospital for treatment.”

Sangeeta Saran, associate director of planned care and Slough operations for East Berkshire CCGs, said: “This is a brilliant achievement for the team and the initiative was very well received by the schools we worked with in Slough.”

The Children’s Asthma Bus team is already helping healthcare colleagues in other areas to set up similar services.