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AAA comment on the House of Lords Allergy Report

















Some of the key recommendations of the Allergy Report






































Extracts from reply dated 4 Aug 2006

































Letter from AAA to Lord Warner 8 Aug 2006












Reply from DoH 24 Aug 2006























Action against allergy needed NOW


There are some 20 million people in the UK with some form of allergic illness, with very inadequate services available for diagnosis and treatment. Now the need for action has been recognised yet again in the newly published Allergy Report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee (26 September 2007).

      There is nothing new in this report. The essential requirements of specialised allergy centres, suitable medical training options and the provision of guidelines for GPs have all been recommended vigorously in recent years. (1) It does, however, present a clearer vision of how a regional allergy centre might be structured and its place within the community. The report's attention to developing effective treatments such as immunotherapy underlines an area important for the future quality of life of many allergy sufferers.

      Action Against Allergy welcomes this further recognition of the need, which is becoming ever more urgent as the number of people with allergic illness escalates. But is this going to be yet another report which rests on the shelf without any real action being taken?

      Practical steps by Government are long overdue; and the most important of these is to allocate funding which specifically allows these necessary measures to get under way. Those allergy centres will not get built unless the funding is made available.

      Government should also take the lead in making allergy services a priority for attention in all Primary Care Groups. Only then will there be any real progress in serving the needs of those millions 1 in 3 of the population many of whom are at present getting little or no suitable help.



(1) By the Royal College of Physicians in their report Allergy: the unmet need (2003), the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health Inquiry into the provision of allergy services (2004) and the Department of Health Review of services for allergy (2006).






  •   The House of Lords Allergy Report recommends that at least one allergy centre be established in each Strategic Health Authority.  An allergy specialist would head up a team which includes specialists in other disciplines:  chest physician, dermatologist, ENT, clinical immunologist, gastroenterologist, occupational health practitioner and paediatrician, supported by specialist nurses and dieticians trained in allergy.
  •  A pilot centre should be established, with a comprehensive patient database, which would enable a thorough cost analysis and inform the development of further allergy centres.
  •   Diagnosis would be carried out in these centres and treatment programmes planned, which may be managed in primary or secondary care.
  •  Allergy immunotherapy by injection would be carried out at the centre.
  •  Collaboration between clinicians in primary, secondary and tertiary care, once established, should lead to the training of GPs and other healthcare workers in allergy.
  •   The allergy centre would also provide public information and advice and work in collaboration with allergy charities, schools and local business.
  •  The Royal Colleges should work together to ensure undergraduate medical students recognise the role of allergy in disease processes and how to refer patients appropriately.  GPs should develop their allergy knowledge through the provision of clinical postgraduate courses.
  •   Immunotherapy is recognised as a valuable resource for those with life-threatening or persistent allergic disease and the potential for its wider use should be assessed with full cost-benefit analysis.
  •  The report notes that many teachers and support staff within schools are not appropriately educated in how to deal with allergic emergencies;  it recommends an audit of the level of allergy training received and that urgent remedial action should be take where required.



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