Letters: GPSIs in allergic disease worth cost of investment

Your exclusive on access to allergy services (GP, 29 May) came to my attention 10 minutes after I had just seen a new patient, who has just registered.

She was early 20s, had had asthma since the age of three, some eczema as a child, with hay fever for several years and angioneurotic oedema at least twice over the last week. This needed high dose prednisolone 40mg a day to control it.

I work in Tunbridge Wells and she works outside Kent. My Choose and Book came up trumps with an allergy appointment near to her workplace, but the real surprise was that it was on 9 July. I booked it as fast as my fingers would allow me.

My practice has looked into allergy testing, attending meetings with the local allergy specialist from Medway, who is keen to dilute some of his work.

We have a spectrum of allergy tests including house dust mites, trees, grass, cats, dogs and fungi. The cost of us doing simple allergy tests is far less than in hospital, but the PCT seems disinclined to use our services.

Your story states there are 30 allergy specialists (I thought it was 39). It would seem sensible for PCTs to use the skills of GPSIs. We would need some extra training, but the investment must be worth it.

Dr Tony Buckland, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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