Impact of Allergy

  • Allergy is common; it has increased in amount, severity and complexity with an estimated 8% of children now living with food allergy
  • About 1 in 3 of the population or 21 million have a disease where allergy may be involved. Up to 7 million have allergy severe enough to require specialist allergy care
  • There was a 615% increase in hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in the 20 years to 2012
  • There are currently only 32 whole time-equivalent allergy specialists working in England
  • Prescriptions for allergy symptoms cost nearly £1 billion a year – about 11% of the total community drugs budget. Prescribing information for the 12 months to February 2014 shows that the rate of prescribing emergency adrenaline products was 353 per 100,000 head of the population, one item per 283 people
  • Allergy results in many different conditions, and affects children and adults. It is often complex and multi-system. In some patients it is chronic; in others it appears as acute severe attacks
  • The prevalence of diagnosed allergic rhinitis and eczema in children have both trebled over the last three decades
  • Seasonal allergic rhinitis is associated with a detrimental effect on examination performance in UK teenagers with a demonstrable drop in grades
  • Living with allergy can significantly affect patients’ quality of life including ability to work
  • However, allergic disease is manageable if patients have access to specific allergy diagnosis, management and support
  • Providing an allergy service is cost effective by reducing ongoing illness and the demands this places on the NHS
  • Accurate allergy diagnosis allows many patients to self manage. This is in line with Government strategy to increase self care