Findings from research trial inform Allergy UK’s call for better GP services

Why we Are making this primary care call

Our call to government, the NHS and decision makers to introduce at least one fully funded specialist allergy and dietitian within each ICS is evidence-based. It follows analysis of a 30-month research trial part-funded by Allergy UK which ran in Scotland between 2017 and 2021.

The trial involved a specialist allergy nurse service available to 35 GP practices to refer in to for diagnosis, advice and management of allergies.

82% of patients who accessed this service saw an improvement in their symptoms and how it was managed.

The patients were seen more quickly – usually within 4-8 weeks compared to the 6-18 month wait time that is often the case when referred to a hospital-based consultant. With it being closer to home, there was less cost and time involved for a patient to attend appointments too.

GPs agreed this approach improved the patient pathway considerably. It reduced referrals to specialist consultants to only 5% and freed up much needed consultation time for GPs.  Currently 8% of GP consultations are spent on allergy related cases.  It also frees up time for specialists within secondary care to focus on the harder to treat cases of allergic conditions.

Currently there are 20 million people living with an allergic condition in the UK.  Too often the path to diagnosis and the right treatment can be bumpy and difficult. Sometimes, it can also be inadequate, carrying with it serious consequences for the patient.   This was Sarah’s experience when she herself rushing from A&E to another A&E in rush hour traffic in the midst of her 10-month-old son having an anaphylactic reaction.  Read why Sarah is supporting our call, and please consider pledging your support too.