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Call for child allergy specialists

Monday August 16th, 2010

Britain needs more specialists who can treat children with food allergies, experts have warned.

NHS advisers propose to put more responsibilities on GPs to diagnose and treat children to deal with growing rates of problems.

But experts say this will not work without more specialists.

The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology has set out its concerns following the publication of draft guidance by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

It calls for trained health professionals to provide accurate diagnosis using validated tests. And it warns that children could face nutritional consequences if they face unnecessary exclusions of foods.

It warns of a "gloomy" overall picture for millions of allergy sufferers unless there is an increase in allergy centres and allergists.

Dr Nicola Braithwaite, of the society, said: "There are Guidelines and care pathways which have been developed and are of great value, but the requirement to delivering these is more allergy specialists: Allergists can enhance services directly but also act as a multiplier by supporting, educating and interacting with doctors and nurses in primary and secondary care who make a big contribution to allergy care."

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | NHS | UK News

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