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Current services in relation to need

Background papers: Lifestyle and wider determinants :: Air Quality [Update in progress] :: Current services in relation to need

Kent Air provides air monitoring throughout Kent and Medway, providing daily contemporaneous data on air quality, and using the Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI). This provides recommended actions and health advice. The index is numbered 1-10 and divided into four bands, low (1) to very high (10), to provide detail about air pollution levels in a simple way, similar to the sun index or pollen index. The data is based upon the automatic monitoring sites across Kent and Medway, and dependent on the site, provides information on NO2, PM2.5, PM10, ozone and sulphur dioxide, collating this to provide a risk rating.

The following advice is given dependent on the risk rating.

Figure 1: Advice by air pollution level
Figure 1: Advice by air pollution level

*Adults and children with heart or lung problems are at greater risk of symptoms. Follow your doctor's usual advice about exercising and managing your condition. It is possible that very sensitive individuals may experience health effects even on Low air pollution days. Anyone experiencing symptoms should follow the guidance provided above. Medway CCG made reduction of COPD emergency admissions a priority in 2013, and in pursuit of this, and in acknowledgement of environmental conditions as a contributing factor, a Met Office text alert service (Healthy Outlook® COPD Forecast Alert Service) was commissioned. However, the Met Office has now discontinued the service, in light of the recent changes in commissioning responsibilities in the NHS. The Kent and Medway Air Quality Partnership provides strategic direction and support across the county, and has a health subgroup which provides advice to the respective partners on the health implications of air pollution. Medway Council is currently producing an Air Quality Action Plan, updating the previous edition published in 2005.