Allergy UK’s Election Manifesto

With the general election fast approaching, Allergy UK has developed a manifesto advocating for the needs of the allergic community. Currently, the UK health system is failing to meet the needs of the 21 million people living with allergy.  What’s more, the prevalence of allergy is growing at alarming rates; statistics suggest we are on the precipice of a global allergy epidemic with UK having one of the highest incidences of allergy in the world.

We believe our Election Manifesto asks outline cost effective ways the NHS can be reformed to address the most pressing challenges affecting our community. Our key asks are as followed:

  1. An allergy nurse and dietitian at primary care level for each UK health region to ensure those living with allergies can access care from a specialist clinician. Specialist allergy services should be offered universally and not dependant on where you live.

Why are we making this ask?

Delays in diagnosis of allergies can have lifelong consequences for people and nearly 1 in 10 appointments with a GP are allergy related. Our call to introduce a Specialist Allergy Nurse at primary care in each ICB will improve patient outcomes and free up much needed GP and consultant time.

  1. A national register to consolidate patient data across the country, unifying health data for patients and health workers so allergy diagnoses can be easily tracked. Accurate data is vital for knowing what services need to be commissioned and to ensure the safeguarding of people with allergies.

Why are we making this ask?

There is currently no accurate picture of how allergic disease is affecting the 21 million people living with allergic disease in the UK. Without this, it is impossible to properly understand the true impact of allergy and build an NHS service which can address those needs. A National Allergy Database is vital in helping to develop a health system which is fit to fight the predicted rise in allergies.

  1. The removal of prescription costs for those living with allergies to address the additional costs people face when managing their allergies.

Why are we making this ask?

Ongoing management through medication is vital for many allergic conditions but we know prescription charges lead to medication non-adherence potentially costing the NHS more in unplanned emergency allergy management. Additionally, Allergy patients already face medical and indirect costs like appointments, travel expenses to their appointments, testing, special foods, etc. One estimate put annual costs just over £3,000 per food-allergic child.

Our manifesto aims to create a more equitable system with more timely, accurate and effective patient care. An approach which recognises allergy as a chronic condition and the serious impact of living with an allergy, will transform how allergy services are delivered whilst improving the quality of live for millions of people in the UK.

You can support our calls by writing to your local MP to advocate to the Government for adopt our keys ask to enhanced allergy care provisions.

Download the full version of our manifesto here.