Select Committee on Health Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by Professor Stephen Holgate and Dr Pamela Ewan (AL 19)


  1.  We are writing to you jointly as Chairman of the recent Royal College of Physicians review committee on Allergy and of the National Allergy Strategy Group (NASG) and as President of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI).

  2.  The NASG is an alliance of organisations, each of which is independent of the others, that have agreed to work together with the specific objective of seeking improvement in NHS allergy services. The alliance has existed since 2001. Its core members are BSACI, The Anaphylaxis Campaign and Allergy UK. Other organisations, such as those who provide training in allergy, lend help. Some pharmaceutical companies have provided grants which support our activities. We remain independent of all affiliations and of each other.

  3.  We are pleased and gratified that the Committee is holding its enquiry into the provision of allergy services; we will help the work of the Committee in any way we are able to.

  4.  The publication of the report of the Royal College committee (Allergy: the Unmet Need, June 2003) was a seminal event. The review committee met and took evidence for over a year; commissioned research; and thoroughly explored the state of allergy in Britain. The report, together with correspondence with Department of Health Ministers, will we believe, be important source documents for the Committee's work.

  5.  We have annexed to this letter—

    (a)  a recent letter and a paper written initially for Dr Ladyman at the Department, following contacts with the Minister at the beginning of the year. The paper, which we have called "Making a Start", was written in an attempt to clear up possible misinterpretations by the Department of what was proposed by the Royal College and to set the developing situation in context. We hope that the Committee will accept correspondence as evidence and that it helps your work; and

    (b)  copies of past correspondence with Department of Health Ministers and officials.

May 2004

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