This site is intended for health professionals only

House of Lords calls for specialist allergy centres

The House of Lords is calling for the government to recognise the severity of the allergy epidemic in the UK, and take concrete steps to tackle it.

The Lords Science and Technology Committee says that the UK lacks specialist clinics and offers nurses minimal allergy training.

It says services in the UK for allergy patients are lagging far behind those in many other Western European countires.

The Committee recommend that each strategic health authority should have an allergy centre, manned by a full time allergy specialist.

They have also stated that medical training bodies should co-operate to establish generic clinical courses in allergy for nurses.

The Committee's main concerns focus around peanut guidance for pregnant women, advising that guidance which tells women and children to avoid peanuts should be immediately withdrawn.

"We have a severe shortage of expert medical provision to deal with allergies in the UK," says Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology subcommittee.

"The government must now take steps to deal with that problem by establishing a specialist allergy centre in every strategic health authority.

"These would act as a beacon of good practice and ensure new knowledge about allergies was spread and applied across the NHS."

Science and Technology Committee