Poor provision of allergy services revealed – Jo


Jo Swinson MP has uncovered figures revealing the poor provision of allergy services in the UK.

Jo Swinson MP has uncovered figures revealing the poor provision of allergy services in the UK.

In answers to parliamentary questions tabled by Jo Swinson ahead of this year’s World Allergy Week (4-11th April 2011), Health Minister Paul Burstow revealed that just 12 specialist consultants in allergy across the NHS dealt with 97,000 outpatient visits last year. In addition, only 10 allergy specialist doctors were in training in 2010.

There are currently 20 million people in the UK who suffer from allergic disease, 7 million of who have complex or serious enough need to require referral to a specialist allergist. There is serious concern about the number of children being admitted to hospital because of food allergies, which has risen by 500% in the last 20 years. This February, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published a number of recommendations to ensure better diagnosis and assessment of children with allergic conditions.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Allergies are incredibly challenging and can make life traumatic and uncertain for suffers both young and old. It is therefore vital that the health service has enough available expertise to deal with the increasing number of allergic conditions that are presenting, particularly for children.

“Allergies are on the rise, with a huge 1 in 20 children now suffering from food allergy. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s guidelines are a step toward improving treatment of food allergy in children, but without the correct training and knowledge, many GPs and hospital doctors are not equipped to deal with this sometimes life-threatening ailment.”


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