METHODS: The authors calculated the cost of delivering telephone based asthma management compared to usual care. Self efficacy and quality of life were measured at recruitment, 6 months and 12 months. Participants were invited to comment on their experience of the telephone based intervention. RESULTS: The intervention was well accepted. At 12 months there was a clinically important improvement in mean quality of life in the intervention group not seen in the control group. Telephone based management costs were offset by reductions in the number of readmissions in the intervention group. DISCUSSION: Telephone based asthma management offers a well accepted, low cost yet potentially effective means of delivering asthma care.