A new machine will help a GP surgery to diagnose asthma earlier in children.

The Henry Bloom Noble Trust has paid for the machine at Snaefell Surgery in Anagh Coar.

The Trust has been supporting healthcare provision on the island for more than 130 years.

The new machine provided to the surgery measures fractional exhaled nitric oxide in the breath of patients, which is a key indicator for asthma.

Advanced nurse practitioner Janette Qualtrough said: ‘It’s a fairly new device that’s come on the market, but it is recommend by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.’

As well as being used to diagnose asthma in adults and children over the age of five, the machine will help to reduce the number of referrals to Noble’s Hospital, but also help with managing the condition.

Janette said: ‘It can definitely help with that early management and start treatment earlier.’

Malcolm Clague, a former surgeon on the island and trustee of the trust, explained that the current tests for asthma can be more difficult for children whereas the new machine will measure the inflation in the tubes of the lungs and provide a more accurate picture for doctors and patients.

He said: ‘This is a better way of assessing the asthma and its response to treatment, particularly in children.’

‘Asthma can have quite a dramatic effect on children and if we don’t get it right, their activities are reduced, they can’t socialise the same and sometimes get a stigma because they’re asthmatic,’ Malcolm said.

Having long supported the hospital, including the recent purchase of a new MRI machine, the trust has turned its attention to primary care.

The idea of the HBNHT’s new GP Grant Scheme is that patients nominate their practice for a grant of up to £5,000.

Malcolm said: ‘As time has gone on and the healthcare service has provided the basic facilities, the HBNHT aims to provide the icing on the cake and provide equipment and other things for the health service to increase and enhance the management of patients on the island.

‘We decided that primary healthcare services on the Isle of Man is a very important element as the first contact point to the health service for most patients and is as one of the continuing contact points for patients that might go to hospital but end up back in primary care.’