Allergy care is failing patients, report warns

Allergy care has not improved despite huge commitments by specialists, a report concludes.

Progress of allergy care has been slow or non-existent, while cost-effective solutions are still not being implemented, according to the report from the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists.

The report follows recommendations from the House of Lords (HoL) Science and Technology Committee inquiry into allergy in 2007, which urged practical steps to improve allergy services.

GPs surveyed as part of the report said they belived there had been no improvement in access to specialist service provision.

Dr Bill Egner, secretary to the working party and representing the Royal College of Pathologists, said: ‘We can do better and allergy services can still improve despite the current financial climate.

‘A coalition of partners from patients to specialists are ready and willing, they merely need appropriate facilitation of clinical leadership and intelligent direction from the DoH and PCT commissioners to make it a reality.’

The new report, ‘Allergy Services: Still not meeting the unmet need’, found there are still insufficient numbers of allergy specialists to meet clinical need and to train other professionals.

There have been no improvements on the serious hazards of inappropriate food labelling, while patient engagement remains underused and should be strengthened.

There is a huge potential to do better in a cost effective way even in the current financial climate, the report concluded.

The report advised that there needed to be a marked improvement in leadership at every level of commissioning, better patient engagement and more cost effective use of resources.

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