Education and Training

This workstream is involved in developing and facilitating a combination of learning tools and experiences to help the healthcare community improve the outcomes for patients by increasing their knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards inhaled medications. Over the last two years, UKIG has been instrumental in developing Inhaler Standards and the Competency Document. This document is intended to be used as a framework to set, assess, and support the standards of those initiating inhaler therapies and checking inhaler techniques. This is so that they can demonstrate competency in prescribing medications via an inhaled route, and that they are teaching the correct technique for the inhaler device prescribed in order to optimise drug administration. It also provides an outline basis for competency assessment. It can be found by following this link.

Online Tools

To support the work, Education for Health, on behalf of UKIG, produced an eLearning programme focusing specifically upon the key standards. This free-to-access and easy-to-use resource is available here.  Previously two members of UKIG designed a unique video about Jack and his asthma. The video “jack blows his own trumpet” is a fun, short film that encourages children with asthma to use their inhalers effectively. The film was released by Education for Health to mark World Asthma Day, 2 May 2017 and is available on YouTube.

Inhalers as a Medication 

While inhaled medication is the cornerstone of treatment for many people with respiratory diseases, the way  patients perceive their inhalers does vary. It is suggested that patients do not always consider their inhaler as part of their prescribed medication, which can and does influence the importance they place on taking this form of treatment. We are also concerned that patients recieve appropriate and timely "training" on how to use their inhaler and that this gets reviewed regularly. We have supported the work of Asthma UK in the development of a series of inhaler videos which Healthcare Professionals and patients can access and use to support correct inhaler technique.

Our Focus

To do this, our main focus will be to:

- Undertake a patient survey nationally to understand patients’ perceptions and misconceptions about their inhaler and their inhaled medication, and then to disseminate the results of the survey. 

- Utilise the findings to develop a series of educational tools to support healthcare professionals in improving patient awareness and engagement with their inhaled medications, including the production of a desktop helper and information cards.  

- Translate the Patient Information Survey to create a simplified educational tool which will focus upon brief intervention training. Updates regarding the progress of these areas of work will be included in the news and updates section of this website.

Emergency Care

Every 10 seconds someone in the UK suffers a potentially life-threatening asthma attack (Asthma UK 2018). Asthma is one of a range of respiratory conditions treated with inhaled therapies and reliever medication is the mainstay of treatment for acute exacerbations and attacks. Understanding how to manage an acute attack in any setting, whether that is at home, school, or in the emergency department, is vital to saving lives. Every second counts, which is why UKIG are working to:

  • Increase our engagement with paramedics to support future policy and educational developments.
  • Explore the development of a communications pack and key messages for the public to raise awareness about inhaler use, but also to support them to help themselves and others in an emergency situation.
  • Develop an educational toolkit as part of wider, brief intervention training, looking specifically at inhalers in the emergency situation, the use of spacers to support inhaled medication, and the appropriate and correct use of nebulisers in the acute situation.

Online Resources  As part of this work, Education for Health has kindly agreed to provide access to an existing programme designed for school teachers and parents. Supporting Children’s Health focuses upon asthma and was developed in conjunction with The George Coller Memorial Fund. Recently reviewed and updated, this free-to-access resource raises awareness and shows how to support children and young people with asthma.

Brief Intevention Training 

As part of our agenda, the education workstream is identifying ways to engage with the healthcare community and raise awareness regarding the importance of  appropriate inhaler technique training and ongoing review.   As part of the work, UKIG are working to create a Brief Intervention Training package that HCPs can utilise.  This is currently in development and will be available in 2020. 

VENN Diagram

The number of inhalers available can be confusing.  

UKIG have designed a Venn diagram explaining which inhalers are licensed for COPD and which are licensed for Asthma.  You can get a free copy of the PDF document by getting in touch.  

You might also want to go to to see the list of devices available.