Well we have had a busy couple of weeks, Summer is not the best time of year for allergy parents.
Over the last month we have seen the asthma nurse twice, the doctor twice, once for a request for stronger antihistamines for hayfever and a second for stronger corticosteroids for eczema. We have also seen the dietician who has recommended reverting back to Alpro Soya +1 (giraffe milk we call it) as Anya has stopped eating red meat and they are concerned about her iron levels.
On top of this we have seen the dentist 3 times in 10 days as she went over the front of her scooter and banged her teeth really hard. We finally have the all clear on those, they are not going to fall out.
So with all the medical appointments, a teething baby, no-one sleeping because of the heat and house hunting I have been rushed off my feet, but have finally finished my NASGUK letter to my MP.
A quick reminder, the NASGUK campaign is looking to recruit more allergy specialists in the UK and to recruit more MPs to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy.
Here is a copy of the letter I sent, if you are interested in joining the campaign please feel free to copy and send a similar letter to your MP. If your child is one of those that remains undiagnosed please add in your own story, remember a photo can always tug at the heart strings too. To find the name if your MP try this site.
Lorely Burt MP House of Commons London SW1A 0AA
Re: NASGUK Allergy Campaign
I am writing to ask for your help in supporting the current NASGUK Campaign (National Allergy Strategy Group UK, http://www.nasguk.org). This is of personal interest to our family as my daughter suffers from a milk and egg allergies along with asthma, hayfever and eczema which are all inter-linked.
My daughter is now 3 years old and so far we have been lucky in getting an early diagnosis for her allergies at 6 months old and having the access to the services we need, an allergist and dietician based on our choice of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
This year I joined a group on Facebook called the Children’s Allergy Network (CAN) which to date has over 400 members who are all parents, relatives and carers of children with allergies. They support each other with many issues that we come across daily as parents of allergic children.
Over the last couple of months I have read posts from parents trying to get an initial diagnosis from their NHS GP and then trying to get an adequate referral to the correct service, i.e. dermatologists, allergists or dieticians. These parents take their children to the doctors and hospital weekly in some cases; their children are constantly ill and regularly inadequately diagnosed by their GP due to lack of training. This, and personal experience of trying to get adequate advice regarding allergy related eczema and asthma, has led me to try to work towards some changes in the system.
The NASGUK campaign is working towards trying to raise awareness of allergic conditions and increase the number of doctors and health workers trained in this area of expertise. Here is an extract from their campaign documents.
About 1 in 3 of the population or 20 million people suffer from allergic disease
About 7 million people have allergy of sufficient severity or complexity to require referral to a specialist allergist
Children and young adults are particularly affected
Most GPs and hospital doctors have little or no training in allergy
There are only 30 consultants in allergy (specialists) for the whole of the UK
Many patients when referred to a hospital allergy service see a doctor trained in another speciality
What Action is Needed?
More specialists in allergy (for adults and children) are urgently needed. The specialty of allergy needs to grow
The awareness and understanding of allergy needs to improve so that more patients can be dealt with in primary care
What I am asking today in line with the NASGUK campaign is for you to find out more about local allergy services in Solihull and consider raising awareness in Parliament for more training and investment in allergy. We need to ask Health Ministers what they propose to do to address this serious health issue. I am also asking if you would be interesting in joining the All Party Parliamentary Group for Allergy.
If you need any further details about CAN, you can find it at http://www.childrensallergynetwork.co.uk/ or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.