Report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy and the National Allergy Strategy Group

On October 27th the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy in conjunction with the National Allergy Strategy Group (NASG) launched a report “Meeting the Challenges of the National Allergy Crisis” which calls for an influential lead for allergy to be appointed who can implement a new national strategy to help the millions of people across the UK affected by allergic disease.

The report was delivered to Gillian Keegan MP, Secretary of State for Care and Mental Health outside the Department of Health by nine year old Arlo Gillard Moss and seven year old Monty Martin in the presence of a group of people of varying ages who are living with allergic disease; representatives from the patient groups Allergy UK and the Anaphylaxis Campaign; members of the BSACI and the All-Party Group chair Jon Cruddas MP in the hope that Ministers will pay attention to the growing epidemic and the lack of NHS services available.

Ms. Keegan spent time with the youngsters hearing about their multiple allergies and how they manage their day to day lives and also spoke with Dr Pam Ewan, chair of the National Allergy Strategy Group.

You can read the report here >

Last week I attended an important meeting in the House of Commons to launch a new report on the burden of adult severe eczema. A collaboration between Allergy UK and Sanofi Genzyme, the report highlights the growing issue of adults living with this condition and sets out the results of a patient survey undertaken by Allergy UK.

All Party Parliamentary Group reforms after 2017 General Election

When a General Election is called all the All Party Parliamentary Groups are disbanded and required to re-register following the formation of the new Parliament. All Party Groups come together when a group of cross bench MPs and Peers with a mutual interest meet to discuss a particular subject area. Our group was no exception so we held our inaugural meeting of the new session on September 13th and successfully reformed the group with Stephen McPartland (Con, Stevenage) resuming his role as chair. Baroness Finlay of Llandaff stayed on as vice-chair with Jon Cruddas MP (Lab, Dagenham) and Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill as treasurer and secretary respectively.
The group will now concentrate on the work we had begun when the election was called earlier this year which includes Parliamentary Questions (see below) and Westminster Hall debates, the first of which will be about improving education in primary care. This will be followed by two more debates: improving care for adults with allergy and access to immunotherapy. In addition to this Parliamentary activity, the NASG are writing a report on the current state of allergy services and our recommendations for change which will be supported by the All Party Group and, we hope, endorsed by NHS England. We are aiming for this to be launched in the spring of 2018 and will keep you posted on progress.

For a list of recent Parliamentary Questions and to sign up to regular alerts so you can see when future responses are given see here:

NICE Quality Standards for Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis

In March 2016 NICE published a set of Quality Standards covering Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis. Quality Standards are concise sets of prioritised statements designed to drive measurable quality improvements within a particular area of health or care. They are derived from the best available evidence such as NICE guidance and other evidence sources accredited by NICE. They are developed independently by NICE, in collaboration with health and social care professionals, their partners and service users.

NICE Quality Standard for Food Allergy

  1. Children and young people with suspected food allergy have an allergy-focused clinical history taken
  2. Children and young people whose allergy-focused clinical history suggests an IgE-mediated food allergy are offered skin prick or blood tests for IgE antibodies to the suspected food allergens and likely co-allergens
  3. Children and young people whose allergy-focused clinical history suggests a non-IgE-mediated food allergy, and who have not had a severe delayed reaction, are offered a trial elimination of the suspected allergen and subsequent reintroduction
  4. Children and young people are referred to secondary or specialist allergy care when indicated by their allergy-focused clinical history or diagnostic testing
  5. (Placeholder) Diagnosing food allergy in adults *
  6. (Placeholder) Nutritional support for food allergy *

NICE Quality Standard for Anaphylaxis

  1. People who have emergency treatment for suspected anaphylaxis are referred to a specialist allergy service
  2. People who are prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector after emergency treatment for suspected anaphylaxis are given training in how and when to use it before being discharged
  3. People who have a systemic reaction to wasp or bee stings are referred to a specialist allergy service to assess whether venom immunotherapy would be suitable
  4. (Placeholder) Ongoing training in adrenaline auto-injector use *

* A placeholder statement is an area of care that has been prioritised by the Quality Standards Advisory Committee but for which no source of guidance is currently available. These statements indicate the need for evidence-based guidance to be developed.