Allergy in Europe
The incidence of common allergic diseases has trebled in the last 20 years throughout the industrialised world, including Europe ... and there is a common theme that the disease is not taken seriously enough by public health care systems ... a recent EU Report stated:
- "In the last 20-30 years the prevalence of allergic diseases has escalated significantly, a trend that shows no signs of abating. It is estimated that more than 80 million people in Europe suffer from some kind of allergic disease, and that by 2015 half of all Europeans will be suffering from an allergy."
- "Despite the very real and obvious impact that allergic diseases can have on a patient’s life, the condition is frequently under-diagnosed, mismanaged and under-treated."
Allergy in the UK
There have been several reports published by the UK Government in the last few years, each of which criticises the poor level of NHS services with regard to the diagnosis and treatment of allergy in the UK.
Sadly, there does not seem to have been much progress in the provision of NHS allergy services, despite the significant intensity of comments and recommendations from the following reports.
Imutest offers allergy sufferers the opportunity of using a reliable and economically priced allergy test in the privacy and comfort of their own home, thereby accelerating the understanding of their condition and the subsequent disease management options.
1. June 2010: Still not meeting the unmet need - a report from the Joint Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists Working Party following up from their original report in June 2003 called Allergy: the unmet need which exposed for the first time the parlous state of diagnosing and managing allergy in the UK. The new report recommends:
" ... that further actions are needed from the Department of Health DH),primary care trusts (PCT), local health boards (LHB), strategic health authority (SHA, commissioners, providers of allergy services, and patients, in order to provide cost-effective improvements in allergy care, despite the current funding crisis."
“Allergy in the United Kingdom has now reached epidemic proportions ... since the late 1950’s the incidence of allergy in developed countries has risen steadily. In the United Kingdom the incidence of common allergic diseases has trebled in the last twenty years to become one of the highest in the world. Recent estimates suggest about a third of the population will develop symptoms due to allergy at some point in their life”
“Allergic disorders can seriously impair quality of life for sufferers ... their treatment is a significant cost to the National Health Service and they can have a detrimental impact upon the education of children at school or the performance of adults at work. The burden of allergy is borne by the allergic individual on a daily basis, but the social and economic cost extends across the whole nation”
“There is a severe shortage of allergy specialists in the United Kingdom so the clinical services lag far behind those of many countries in Western Europe, and have not kept pace with the rising prevalence of allergy ... a lack of training has resulted in a National Health Service in which a significant proportion of general practitioners are unable to diagnose and manage allergic disorders”
2. Sept 2007: House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Report includes the following statements:
3. July 2006: A Review of Services for Allergy , Dept of Health Report includes the following statements:
- "In 2004 the scale of the ''allergy epidemic'' became apparent ... despite this level of need people with allergies often feel let down by a poor and frequently unobtainable service”
"1,117 members of the Anaphylaxis Campaign responded to a online survey ... 59% thought that the NHS was not particularly/at all well equipped to manage the needs of people with allergy; 76% felt that their GP did not understand the health needs of the allergic person very well; only 34% were initially diagnosed by an allergy specialist of those, 77% were not diagnosed until at least a month after their first reaction; 13% waited for more than 2 years"
4. Jan 2005: Government Response to the report below includes the following statements:
- "People with allergies are likely to come into contact with a range of practitioners in the community, including GPs, nurses, pharmacists, midwives, health visitors and
- "We also recognise the key role that self-care plays in the management of allergies."
5. Nov 2004: House of Commons Select Committee on Health, Sixth Report includes the following statements:
- "Allergies affect around 30% of the adult population and 40% of children. The prevalence, severity and complexity of allergy in the population is rapidly rising."
- "We find serious problems exist in the current provision of allergy services. Those working in primary care lack the training, expertise and incentives to deliver services ... the journey for many patients has to be through the hoops of partial or, to varying degrees, inappropriate care, and for the majority not even this possibility is available. They have no choice; effectively they have no access to any kind of adequate NHS allergy care."
6. May 2010: Increasing numbers of allergy sufferes take advantage of the simplicity and availability of Imutest self-test allergy tests, and start to take control of their allergy symptoms as advised by Dr Chris Steele, GP and advisor to ITV''s This Morning:
- "Quick, reliable and convenient home allergy testing gives people the knowledge to take the next steps towards choosing the most appropriate course of action whether it be a doctors appointment, an over the counter treatment or lifestyle changes such as house dust mite or cat avoidance which could considerably improve their quality of life".