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International Nurses Day 2021

Today is International Nurses Day. On behalf of everyone here at Allergy UK, we would like to send an heartfelt thank you to all the nurses and NHS staff that have tirelessly worked on the front line throughout the last year, making sure everyone continues to get the care and support they need.

We also thought what better time to get up close and personal with our own Allergy UK Clinical team. As well as playing an essential role in the development of all our Allergy UK resources, our clinical team are always on standby to support the Helpline with your more complex questions.

Here's our team…

Headshot - Amena WarnerAmena Warner RN. SN. (PG Dip) Specialist Practice. Dip Allergy

Amena is Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK. She joined the team after working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Immunology and Allergy at a London NHS Hospital Trust. She trained at University College Hospital, followed by paediatric training at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Amena has many publications and research involvement within the field of allergy and was the first nurse to sit on the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) council, where she started the National Nurses in Allergy Group. She is a member of the BSACI Primary Care group and also the BSACI Adult Allergy group.

Headshot - Holly ShawHolly Shaw, Clinical Nurse Advisor

Holly is a clinical nurse advisor, specialising in allergy with 19 years nursing experience. She earned her a Diploma in Nursing from the University of Nottingham and a BSc in Nursing Studies from the University of Manchester. Further study then lead to a Certificate in Allergy Nursing from the University of South Australia.

Holly has international nursing experience having worked in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in front-line emergency services, and in food allergy research at the Murdoch Research Institute and within the voluntary sector. Holly is a member of the British Society of Clinical Allergy and Immunology.

Headshot - Margaret KMargaret Kelman, Specialist Allergy Nurse

Margaret is a specialist dermatology and allergy nurse living and working in Scotland. She studied nursing at the University of Dundee and gained a post grad diploma in allergy at the University of Southampton. She has worked within NHS Scotland for over 19 years including a role as allergy advisor / programme manager for Children and Young People’s Allergy Network Scotland NMCN. More recently she was involved in the development of a unique project with the University of Edinburgh, funded by Allergy UK, to integrate research and development into everyday medical practice, through the development of nurse led allergy clinics. For this work, Margaret was awarded the Barry Kay award for excellence in allergy care and research in primary care in 2021.

What made you want to specialise in allergy?

The decision to specialise in allergy came from my own experience of having severe allergies myself, this made me keen to want to improve awareness of allergy, improve access to allergy education for health care professionals and improve access to reliable sources of information and support.

What is your biggest career achievement?

My biggest career achievement to date has been the opportunity to design, implement and run the nurse led allergy clinics within primary care in Scotland. This project was funded by Allergy UK and successfully proved that a nurse led allergy clinic can , not only reduce referrals into the hospital setting and reduce waiting times to be seen, but was also seen as a very valuable source of information and support for patients and their families and the health care professionals referring into the clinic..

What do you think you would have done as a career, had you not become a nurse?

If I had not become a nurse I would have followed my dream to be a dancer

Headshot - Laura PLaura Phillips, Paediatric Allergy Dietitian

Laura qualified as a dietitian from the University of Surrey in 2003. She found a passion for working in paediatric allergy having gained a job at St Mary’s Hospital, London in their tertiary MDT allergy clinic. For the last seven years she has worked at Colchester Hospital, Essex in MDT and dietetic led allergy clinics. Laura took up a Dietetic Clinical Advisory post alongside this in September 2020 at Allergy UK.

What do you think you would have done as a career, had you not become a dietitian?

I love to write and I also love food. The idea of being a food critic sounds exciting! Perhaps something I can still work towards one day with an allergy focus.

When did you know that you wanted to be a dietitian?

I always had a passion for science and food technology at school so knew as a teenager that this was the direction I wanted to go in. Once I realised the positive impact of nutrition on health, my career path was made and it is a job I truly enjoy.

What made you choose Allergy UK?

When the opportunity to work at Allergy UK came up, I jumped at the chance. To work for a highly reputable charity who strive to make a difference for people with allergies is an honour.

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