A new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy and National Allergy Strategy Group has found that allergy services in the UK remain ‘totally inadequate’
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy and National Allergy Strategy Group have released a new report, Meeting the challenges of the national allergy crisis, that examines the problems faced by individuals living with allergic disease in the UK and makes recommendations for improving their care.
In the UK, 20 million individuals—around one in three people—are living with allergic disease, over 5 million of whom require specialist care. Allergy-related disorders can have a significant negative impact on the lives of those living with them; however, despite the publication of reports calling for radical change by the House of Commons Health Select Committee in 2004 and the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee in 2007, allergy services in the UK remain difficult to access, understaffed, and poorly resourced. In its Reports to prevent future deaths, the Office of the Chief Coroner has repeatedly stated that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.
The report makes four key recommendations to improve the provision of care for people living with allergic disease:
- increase the number of allergy consultants to better educate our doctors of the future
- improve access to immunotherapy for patients who would benefit—sensible commissioning arrangements should be put in place so that patients who live far from the specialist centre can be offered treatment
- make commissioners aware of the allergy needs of their populations—national and local commissioning plans for allergy should be established, alongside clear referral pathways to both adult and paediatric allergy services and increased delivery of allergy care in the community
- improve allergy knowledge for community healthcare professionals.
These measures will ensure that allergy services in the UK meet four patient requirements:
- access to primary care
- access to specialist allergy care
- continuity of care
- emergency care.
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