A new online resource has been developed in the North West of England to help parents, children and healthcare professionals with a range of information about children’s allergies.
The North West of England is home to seven million people or one eighth of the UK population. The region has 1.5 million children and it is estimated that one in four, or nearly 400,000, have allergic diseases.
The North West Children’s Allergy Network is coordinated by specialists in children’s allergies from around the North West region, working together with nurses, dietitians, primary care professionals and patient and carer representatives and is one of eight sites developed as part of the Royal College of Physicians’ Future Hospital Programme.
Dr John Dean, RCP Clinical Lead for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, said:
“Having an allergy can significantly impact on both a child’s and parents’ life, but more than half of children who are thought to have an allergy to foods or medicines don’t. It’s really important that if you think a child does have an allergy that you make sure the diagnosis is right by talking to a health professional. This Network resource can provide help to all parents and children in the North West and help manage any allergy and put to rest any worries or concerns.”
Dr Peter Arkwright, North West Paediatric Allergy Network Chair, said:
“Working closely with parents has been really important in making sure the Network addresses the very real concerns that families have regarding allergies. Working alongside families allows us to ensure that we deliver healthcare which is responsive to the needs of all children and parents. The resources and information available, such as FAQs and access to healthcare professionals, helps empower patients in taking control of their allergy journey.”
Elaine Ward, Deputy Chief Executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, said:
“We are delighted that the North West Paediatric Allergy Network has been able to launch this new online resource to support people living with allergies, their families and healthcare professionals. As the only UK wide charity solely focused on supporting people at risk of severe allergic reactions, we believe that collaboration to encourage greater awareness and education about the risks of anaphylaxis is vital.”
The information includes FAQs for parents on allergies and detailed support on how to safely use medicine such as inhalers and adrenaline pens and is available at http://allergynorthwest.nhs.uk.