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Question for Department of Health

UIN 31898, tabled on 21 March 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to improve access to immunotherapy for the long-term management of allergic disease.

Answered on

24 March 2016

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline, ‘Food allergy in children and young people’, published in 2011, sets out best practice on the care treatment and support for children and young people with food allergy. NICE clinical guidelines are designed to support health care professionals in their work, and commissioners should consider them when developing local services, but they do not replace the knowledge, skills and experience of clinicians in deciding how best to manage patients.

Immunotherapy for the long-term management of allergic disease may be provided as part of the NHS England’s nationally commissioned specialised allergy service. NHS England has set out what these providers must have in place to offer high quality specialised allergy care, ensuring equity of access to patients wherever they live. Around 0.1% of people with allergies in the United Kingdom, some 20,000 people, are likely to require referral to a specialist centre. NHS England’s allergy service specification, which provides more information about specialised allergy services, can be viewed at the following link: