Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Reeta Herzallah

Project: Improving Paediatric Asthma Outcomes by providing rapid access support through a Paediatric Asthma Hub IMpACT study

PhD overview

PhD Title: Improving Paediatric Asthma Outcomes by providing rapid access support through a Paediatric Asthma Hub IMpACT study

Funded by: Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Systems

Supervisors: Dr Erol Gaillard, Dr David Lo, Professor Hilary Pinnock

Based at: University of Leicester

Emails: or 

Reeta Herzallah
Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research PhD student Reeta Herzallah

Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition in children in the UK, with around 1 in 11 children and young people living with asthma. That is a total of around 1.1 million children and young people. The UK has one of the highest prevalence, emergency admission and death rates for childhood asthma in Europe, (Asthma UK).

Evidence-based standards of care have been developed in response to the National Review of Asthma Deaths and NICE have issued recommendations which unfortunately are not being met because of stretched resources and unresponsive referral processes.

We propose that a rapid-access paediatric asthma hub will improve paediatric asthma care. Children with possible asthma can be referred to the hub from primary care to establish the diagnosis and for monitoring of their asthma. In addition, acute paediatrics care providers at University Hospitals of Leicester will refer children following an asthma attack at the point of discharge, to be reviewed within 48 hours. The hub will offer a package of interventions based on best practice, best evidence and national recommendations.

We hypothesise that referral to the paediatric asthma hub will give the children access to objective testing that is not currently available in most primary care settings and will therefore deliver a package of interventions as per NICE recommendations and best evidence and best practice to optimise the diagnostic and monitoring process. 

Data collected from the study will help policymakers in establishing evidence-based cost-effective pathways for the management of paediatric asthma.

About me

I am a Consultant Paediatrician with an MSc in Clinical Trials, an academic clinical fellowship in paediatric respiratory and a cystic fibrosis fellowship. I am passionate about improving child health through research and evidence-based service development.


  • Herzallah R, S78 Phenotypes of Induced Sputum in Difficult to Treat Asthma, Thorax 2012;67:A39. DOI: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-202678.084
  • Herzallah R, Staley K, Feeters MM, et al, P21 Success rate of sputum induction in the Leicester paediatric severe asthma clinic using, Thorax 2010;65:A85. DOI: 10.1136/thx.2010.150961.21
  • Staley KG, Herzallah R, Pandya H, et al, P78 Impact of severe allergic asthma in children: highlighting a role for understanding the family perspective, Thorax 2010;65:A110. DOI: 10.1136/thx.2010.150979.29
  • Holmes C, Shah J, Modha D, et al, S80 A Clinical Evaluation of Quantitative, Culture-Independent Methods For the Identification of Bacteria in Cystic Fibrosis Sputum and Broncho-Alveolar Lavage Fluids, Thorax 2012;67:A40. DOI: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2012-202678.086

Research Activity

  • Rapid access Paediatric Asthma Hubs, worth the trouble? AUKCAR Annual Scientific Meeting, Leeds, 2022
  • Improving Paediatric Asthma Outcomes by Providing Rapid Access Support Through a Paediatric Asthma Hub, Asthma UK Lay Members Virtual Meeting, 2021
  • National oral presentation: Mycobacterium Abscessus in the Paediatric Clinic: Experience from the Leicester Eradication Protocol, National Cystic Fibrosis Microbiology Consortium, Liverpool, 2014
  • Regional oral presentation: Posaconazol in the Treatment of Aspergillus Colonisation in the Paediatric Cystic Fibrosis Population, regional joint adult and paediatric cystic fibrosis team meeting, Leicester, 2014
  • National oral presentation: Phenotypes of induced sputum in difficult-to-treat asthma, British Thoracic Society Meeting, London, 2012
  • National poster presentation: Sputum Induction Using Hypertonic Saline in Children with Severe Asthma, British Thoracic Society Meeting, London, 2010
  • National poster presentation: Quality of Life of Children with Severe Asthma, British Thoracic Society Meeting, London, 2010
  • International oral presentation: Success Rate of Sputum Induction in the Leicester Paediatric Severe Asthma Clinic Using Nebulised Hypertonic Saline: A 2-Year Review, European Respiratory Society Meeting, Barcelona, 2010


Dr  Erol Gaillard and Dr David Lo, my PhD supervisors. Professor Hilary Pinnock and the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research team. Dr Caroline Beardsmore and the University of Leicester team. Lesley Danvers, Eliza Trim, Emma Alford, Dr Vinayak Rai and the University Hospitals of Leicester team. Dr Gopi Bora and The Westcotes Health Centre team. The Leicestershire and Rutland Integrate Care Systems Team. Asthma + Lung UK Lay members. The children and family.