Jo Swinson MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Allergy, has tabled a Parliamentary motion on allergy care to bring attention to the gaps in education among health care professionals.
Estimates suggest that around 300 children in East Dunbartonshire suffer from a nut allergy, and many more from other allergic conditions including hayfever. The
National Allergy Strategy Group estimates there are five million people in the UK who have an allergy severe enough to require specialist care. Those suffering with allergic diseases are at a disadvantage due to the very NHS allergy specialists and the lack of professional knowledge in primary care.
Commenting, Jo said:
“Allergy education for GPs will mean that they can provide accurate diagnoses, swift referrals and efficient management to both severe and less severe allergy sufferers. We need to ensure that more allergy specialist posts are created locally and across the UK. “
Commenting, allergy sufferer Lesley Shannon from Kirkintilloch, said:
“My experience of GPs in relation to allergies is that there is almost a complete lack of understanding and knowledge about life-threatening allergies, and their effect on individuals. GPs need education and continued training, with perhaps an allergy specialist in each practice. I feel that more money, time and resources has to be spent within the NHS both at consultant level for hospitals and in the training of all GPs.”
- The text of Jo Swinson’s Early Day Motion 2598 appears below:
Care for people living with allergic disease
That this House welcomes the recently published National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on assessment and referral following emergency treatment for anaphylaxis and its aim to improve levels of care for those living with allergic disease; expresses concern that despite this guideline, the previously published guideline on diagnosing food allergy in children and numerous reports from Committees in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, there is still an enormous, unacceptable gap between patient need and service provision because there is a lack of education amongst health care professionals in primary care and very few posts across the country for allergy specialists; acknowledges the National Allergy Strategy Group’s estimate that around five million people have an allergy severe enough to require specialist care; and calls for more allergy specialist posts to be created in the NHS, for the Department of Health to state that effective commissioning of allergy services should be a priority and for allergy education to be included in GP training to enable effective referral and management of less severe allergies in primary care.