Last night we attended a parliamentary reception organised by the National Allergy Strategy Group (NASG) and the All Party Group for Allergy.
The event was hugely successful and took place in the Terrace Pavilion of the House of Commons, overlooking the River Thames.
Hosted by Jon Cruddas MP, the reception saw Members of Parliament and their constituents meeting to discuss the poor state of allergy services in the UK.
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.
Despite this, allergy services in the UK are massively underfunded, with a wide gap between patient need and service provision. In the NHS, there is an insufficient level of expertise in allergy, with very few specialists to treat patients.
Jon Cruddas welcomed guests and invited speakers to the podium. Stephen Mcpartland MP delivered a speech which laid out the current state of allergy services in the UK as well as the discussing the prevalence of allergy in society.
Alison Berthelsen gave a speech endorsing the benefits of lobbying your MP, sharing her own story and giving tips on how to work with your MP.
The last to speak was Dr Pam Ewan who spoke on behalf of the NASG, laying out the status of services as well as the impact that allergy has.
The NASG believes that increasing expertise in allergy is crucial to providing better care to sufferers and in order to do this more specialist posts need to be created and funded by the NHS.
Flick through the gallery to view pictures from the night.
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