The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD), run by a consortium of asthma professional and patient bodies, led by the Royal College of Physicians, will look into the circumstances surrounding deaths from asthma from 1 February 2012 to 30 January 2013. The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England, NHS Wales, the Health and Social Care division of the Scottish government, the Department of Health, and the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS).

Background to the NRAD

For a 12-month period from 1 February 2012, deaths from asthma in the UK will be reviewed systematically and will be subject to an in-depth multidisciplinary confidential enquiry. By engaging with health professionals, the project will explore the individual circumstances surrounding the death – for example the medical care received, the environmental conditions etc.

It is not clear why the number of deaths per year from asthma in the UK has not reduced significantly from around 1,200 for many years, even though it is widely accepted that there are preventable factors in 90% of deaths. The aim of the project is to understand why people of all ages die from asthma so that recommendations can be made to prevent deaths from asthma in the future.

We are expecting the NRAD to build on previous confidential enquiries into asthma deaths in regions of the UK and to provide a more robust body of evidence on which to build our understanding of how life-threatening situations arise and how they can be avoided in future. The learning from the NRAD project will be fed back into clinical practice so that people receive higher quality care and we can reduce deaths from asthma in time, in line with the outcome on reducing mortality from respiratory diseases in the NHS Outcomes Framework 2011/12.

The NRAD was placed on the Quality Accounts lists for 2012/13 and 2013/14 for data collection and submission.

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The NRAD report will be launched on 6 May 2014 to coincide with World Asthma Day.

Contact us

Dr Mark L Levy
NRAD clinical lead

Navin Puri
NRAD programme manager

Rachael Andrews (nee Davey)
NRAD programme coordinator

Tel: +44 (0)20 3075 1522 or 1500
Fax: +44 (0)20 7487 3988

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­National Review of Asthma Deaths
Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit (CEEU)
Clinical Standards Department
Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place
Regent's Park
London NW1 4LE


NRAD Collaborating partners
Asthma UK
National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD)
British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) Paediatric Intensive Care Society (PICS)
British Thoracic Society (BTS) Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS)
College of Emergency Medicine Queen Mary, London University
Department of Respiratory Epidemiology, Nottingham Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)
Division of Medical & Dental Education, University of Aberdeen Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
Eastern Region Confidential Enquiry of Asthma Deaths Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath)
Intensive Care Society (ICS) Royal Pharmaceutical Society
National Ambulance Service – Directors of Clinical Care (DOCCSs)
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Last updated on: 02 April 2014

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