Asthma sufferers are being put at risk because their GPs are not trained to treat the condition properly, campaigners have claimed.
According to a study by Asthma UK, education on asthma is not a priority despite more than half of GPs believing that better care would reduce the number of deaths.
Almost two thirds of doctors said they thought public awareness of the illness could be improved, and 47% admitted that their own knowledge was lacking.
This supports recent findings of a survey by the Primary Care Respiratory Society which showed that more than half of GPs answered incorrectly when asked about clinical guidelines for asthma.
The latest study comes after it was announced that NHS training budgets around the UK could be at risk of being cut in the drive to reduce costs.
Yet the survey shows almost half of GPs believe that care could be bettered cost-effectively.
Hospital admissions for asthma take up a significant amount of the estimated £1 billion cost of the illness to the NHS each year.
According to the charity, emergency hospital admissions for asthma for both children and adults cost the NHS over £60 million per year, yet 75% of admissions are avoidable through effective management and routine care.
The charity wants to see national standards for care across the UK and is calling on the Department of Health to make asthma a higher priority within the new NHS.