[Surgeon Atul Gawande, giving this year's Reith Lectures] He tells the story of the vacuum cleaners of Boston. Doctors there noticed that children from homes with no vacuum cleaner had much higher rates of asthma. They could treat the asthma but the drugs and therapies are expensive. So they gave out vacuum cleaners instead of inhalers. One for every house. It cost money up front. And it was an eccentric way to spend a health budget. But a year later there was an 80 per cent drop in children being admitted to A&E departments in Boston with asthma attacks.
- Radio Times, 22 November