National Survey of United Kingdom Paediatric Allergy Services results published
A UK Paediatric Allergy Services Survey was completed between February 2019 and May 2020 and is the first comprehensive assessment of UK paediatric allergy service provision. Comprehensive national assessments are rarely undertaken and have never been undertaken in the United Kingdom. A 2006 survey estimated national capacity at 30,000 adult or paediatric new allergy appointments per year and identified 58 hospital clinics offering a paediatric allergy service.
Data from the survey highlighted a fourfold increase between 2006 and 2020 in paediatric allergy clinics and approximately sevenfold increase in new patient appointment numbers in the United Kingdom. The majority of paediatric allergy services are small and there is a significant variation in the way each service manages patients specifically those undertaking allergen immunotherapy, suggesting the need for national standards, local networks and simulation training to ensure consistent and safe service provision.
Increased clinical case exposure brings with it increased clinical experience. The need for quality standards for paediatric allergy services, similar to those produced recently for adult allergy services, endorsed by both the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and BSACI, is recognised. Quality standards already exist for other paediatric subspecialties, such as gastroenterology, and the production of similar standards and accreditation for paediatric allergy will ensure that children with allergic disease receive high quality and consistent care, regardless of their geographical location.
“This has been the first comprehensive assessment of paediatric allergy services ever undertaken. The survey was undertaken to be a resource for patients and for professionals, and the information gathered is going to help improve services in the years to come,” Michael Perkin, BSACI member and co-author.
Click here to view the detailed article.
NB: BSACI were part of a group of stakeholders for the survey