Allergies: Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th November 2021.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to ensure equity of NHS healthcare access for allergic communities throughout all regions.

Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on improving access to NHS allergy services to ensure early recognition and diagnosis at primary care level.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The majority of those with allergies can be supported by locally commissioned primary or other non-specialist allergy services. Specialist allergy clinics are available for those with more severe or complex allergic conditions. To support healthcare professionals in the implementation of clear care pathways, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published guidance on the diagnosis and treatment including how to identify allergies and when to refer to specialist care.

The Royal College of General Practitioners have developed an allergy e-learning online resource to support continuing professional development and revalidation, which aims to educate general practitioners about the various presentations of allergic disease, how to assess an atopic patient and when to investigate in primary care or refer to secondary care.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Allergy’s report ‘Meeting the challenges of the National Allergy Crisis’ outlined some of the challenges in both equity of provision and diagnosis in primary care for people living with allergies. We are working with the APPG and stakeholders alongside NHS England to review the recommendations and ensure those living with allergies are appropriately supported.

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