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More allergy specialists required as demand rises

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More specialist nurses are needed, along with more training for primary care staff, to treat the growing number of patients with allergies, two royal colleges have warned.

The report, by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists, says there has been little improvement in the provision of allergy services since 2007, when a House of Lords committee called for specialist allergy centres in every region.

The aim was for these centres to employ a range of allergy specialists, including specialist nurses, to improve access to care and reduce health inequalities.

But the report said the appointment of specialists had been “insufficient to meet the clinical need and training requirements of other healthcare professionals”.

It recommended that nurses in primary and community care, including school nurses, should receive e-learning packages.

British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology lead for clinical services Pamela Ewan said: “There is such a huge amount of allergy out there that primary care has got to deal with…so it is really important that nurses and GPs have more allergy knowledge.”

*Asthma in primary care is one of 30 online training units exclusive to Nursing Times. Go to www.nursingtimes.ney/adultsasthma for two hours’ online CPD.

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