All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy & NASG meeting

All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy & NASG meeting

  • 20 July 2015
  • News


The Anaphylaxis Campaign was in attendance of a meeting held last Monday 4th March at the House of Commons by The All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy, in conjunction with the National Allergy Strategy Group (NASG). Also attending were around 65 allergy patients, healthcare representatives, MPS and experts. The meeting discussed a wide range of issues, focused around NHS allergy services, a decade on from initial discussions by the Group.

The meeting was chaired by Jon Cruddas MP and highlighted the continued need for improved NHS allergy services, looking at the lessons learnt from the North West of England's allergy centre project.

Speakers included:

  • Dr Pam Ewan, chair of the NASG, who claimed that Patient services are currently ‘completely inadequate’ to deal with the UK’s ‘allergy epidemic’
  • Roy Dudley-Southern, who was the specialist commissioner on the NW project. Roy has been actively involved in the development and planning of a wide variety of key services within the NHS at a strategic level, including a framework for an Allergy Services network. He discussed the impact and lessons learnt from the North West allergy project
  • Mandy East, who coordinates the work of the NASG , brought in the patients perspective on allergy services and introduced a number of individuals who spoke about their experiences of allergy services and care on the NHS, its failings and the impacts on real people’s lives

The meeting also notably heard from Lynne Regent, Anaphylaxis Campaign CEO. In her first formal appearance as Vice Chair of the NASG, she highlighted the particular concern there should be for young people with allergies following the Anaphylaxis Campaign youth survey which showed only 28% of respondents polled were currently under the care of an allergy specialist. Shockingly, 24%, almost a quarter, reported that they had never been under the care of an allergy specialist. Lynne stressed the need for robust transition planning for young people as they move from childhood to adulthood.

Allergy UK CEO Jim Bennett suggested that care systems and planning for allergy services in the UK could learn from cancer care developments over the past years in terms of centrality and national planning, which he claimed are responsible for vast improvements in its achievements. He also stressed the need for improvements in primary care which is often the first port of call for those presenting with allergic disease.

The meeting closed with statements from Mandy East and Dr Pam Ewan, who both highlighted the need for patient activism if change is to be achieved in healthcare protocols for allergy. We will shortly be providing a follow up piece on the outcomes and results from this meeting on our website, including resources for allergy patients and constituents to download and send to their MPs. Stay tuned!