In the last edition of Allergy UK, I wrote about the report from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy which was presented to Gillian Keegan, the Minister of State for Care and Mental Health last October. “Meeting the Challenges of the National Allergy Crisis” highlighted the need for a national plan for allergy supported by steps to expand and improve training programmes. Now, Allergy UK has taken a further important step forward in driving the changes needed to bring about improvements in the care of people living with allergic disease, and this time through the voices of patients themselves.
Last year Allergy UK conducted the largest ever survey by an allergy patient charity into perceptions of allergy, both from patients and broader society. Over 7,000 people responded to the survey and the results informed its new campaign to create better awareness and understanding of allergy – “It’s Time to take Allergy Seriously”. They also formed the basis for the development of a new Patient Charter – the first ever Patient Charter for allergy patients. The Charter was developed in consultation with patients, parents and clinicians and it is fundamental to the charity’s work to improve the lives of people living with allergy. It is a powerful representation of patients’ voices.
Allergy UK’s Patient Charter was launched at a Parliamentary reception earlier this month and it will form the cornerstone of the charity’s work as the movement to improve care for those living with allergy builds momentum. Parliamentary champions are already stepping forward to support the Charter and this initiative marks a turning point in our ongoing efforts to bring about the long overdue changes that will improve the lives of people living with allergy.
I hope you find this edition of Allergy Today interesting and that the background to the Patient Charter and the research will provide food for thought.
Professor Adam Fox
Chair of the Allergy UK Health Advisory Board
Consultant Paediatric Allergist, Evelina London Children’s Hospital