Yorkshire and Humber AHSN partnered with the NHS England Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) to release some Pathway Transformation Funding to improve the rates of asthma diagnosis and management within non-English speaking populations in the region. To do this, they worked with Huddersfield University and a Respiratory Consultant at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The issue here was clear. In Yorkshire and Humber you can find significant variation in access to basic asthma care across the area, specifically in different geographies, age groups and ethnicities.

Additionally, in some South Asian communities there is a stigma attached to asthma and to coughing. A diagnosis of asthma can be detrimental to a chance of marriage as there is the incorrect presumption that the coughing is contagious. There are common stories among patients of being housebound and missing important family events such as weddings and funerals.

Action taken

The initiative involved working with the AAC, Public Health, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and asthma charities to produce patient information and resources in various languages. These leaflets are now hosted in a central location where patients and clinicians can access them as and when they need them.

Yorkshire and Humber AHSN and their partners worked with patients within the non-English speaking populations to evaluate and design additional resources. Patient focus groups and interviews ensured the information was relevant and addressed cultural barriers. Patients within the relevant communities also acted as clinical champions, promoting and disseminating the resources they helped to develop.

The initiative also produced a heatmap that made it easier to identify the interdependencies of ethnicity, literacy, and respiratory health. You could overlay areas of deprivation in West Yorkshire with high prescribing data by GP, then enhance the map and add ethnic population percentages where English is not the main language. This made it clear where the health inequality hot spots lay.

Next steps

Yorkshire and Humber AHSN will remain working with their wider asthma network. They are continuing to identify opportunities to support asthma management for underserved populations.


  • Not every objective was clear to the team at first. By working with patients to understand the cultural barriers and patient specific requirements, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN and their partners were able to identify further objectives for the programme.
  • A heatmap can enable a team to establish health inequality hotspots. For this initiative, it was particularly useful for community engagement and understanding the scale of the challenge.


Access more learning case studies – Diversity and Innovation Progress and Learning Report 2022.