Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

Memorandum by Elizabeth Murphy (AL 33)


  I am a professional children's counsellor working, with children and young people of all ages. I often see children who have behaviour difficulties and in my professional opinion may well benefit further from being referred to an allergy specialist; but there is no NHS allergy clinic or service in the area and many of the clients I see are unable to pay for private or alternative treatment.

  1.  In February 2004 I was employed to work one day a week in a local junior school in a deprived area to work with four referred children.

  2.  In march 2004 it became clear to me that all the referred school children may well be suffering from ADHD/PTSS and may well benefit further by having food allergy tests.

  3.  Children suffering from food allergies often display behaviour symptoms similar to ADHD/PTSS and get wrongly diagnosed and thus carry a label, which often continues throughout their lives. Or indeed if they are found to have ADHD/PTSS these children are often found to also suffer from food allergies and can be further helped by receiving treatment from a food allergy specialist.

  4.  I am unable to refer any of these children on for treatment as they and their families are unable to pay for the treatment and there is no NHS allergy service in the area.

  5.  I am therefore unable to give a full opinion on the cause of these children's symptoms and the children are denied the possibility of a treatment that many well benefit them further, or at least speed up the counselling process.


  1.  I would like to see the establishment of more NHS allergy clinics also specialist NHS children's allergy clinics, run by staff that are fully trained in all aspects of allergy work.

  2.  Far better training regarding allergies for GPs, doctors, consultants, nurses, practice nurses, school nurses, midwifes, health visitors, psychologists, counsellors etc.

May 2004

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2004
Prepared 2 November 2004