Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Allergy Services

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Oxford University Hospitals provides a broad range of allergy services to cater for the needs of children and adults with allergic diseases. The Trust’s allergy services are registered with the Royal College of Physicians’ Improving Quality in Allergy Services scheme (IQAS) and actively working towards achieving accreditation.

The service is spread across the departments of:

Our staff

Consultants involved in running the allergy service include:

  • Dr John Reed, Dermatology
  • Prof Graham Ogg, Dermatology
  • Dr Susan Cooper, Dermatology
  • Dr Sheru George, Dermatology
  • Dr Siraj Misbah, Immunology
  • Dr Rashmi Jain, Immunology
  • Dr Clare Robertson, Paediatrics
  • Dr Umasunthar Thisanayagam, Paediatrics
  • Dr Felicitas Obetoh, Paediatrics
  • Dr Justin Sims, Paediatrics

Additional medical staff include:

  • Dr Phil Clayton, Paediatrics and General Practice

Additional team members include:

  • Liane Reeves, Allergy Dietitian
  • Jeanette Brook, Allergy Nurse
  • Ros Fisher, Immunology Nurse
  • Bernadette Miles-Marsh, Patch Test Nurse
  • Judith Ward, Paediatric Allergy Nurse
  • Rosie Marshall, Paediatric Allergy Nurse
  • Jackie Campbell, Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Conditions

The range of disorders we investigate and manage include:

  • food allergy
  • latex allergy
  • drug allergy
  • aero-allergen allergy
  • venom allergy of varying severity
  • severe urticaria (including treatment with Omalizumab)
  • angioedema.
  • mastocytosis
  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • photo-allergic contact dermatitis
  • photosensitivity and solar urticaria.

This includes patients with serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).

Long-term desensitisation immunotherapy is provided to patients with severe venom allergy to minimise their risk of anaphylaxis.

Oxford University Hospitals is one of 17 centres designated as a centre for the investigation of anaphylaxis associated with anaesthesia. In addition to the use of skin tests, the allergy service is well supported by a CPA-accredited Immunology Laboratory, providing specific blood tests for the diagnosis of allergy.

Your appointment

Allergy investigation can be complex and time-consuming. We try to ensure appointments run to time, but this is not always possible. Please allow at least 1-2 hours for your appointment.

If you are attending for investigation of a reaction, please try to record what you had eaten with ingredients and what you were doing in the 4-6 hours before the reaction started plus if you had taken any medications in the 24 hours beforehand. Feel free to bring any product ingredient listings with you.

Allergy testing may be undertaken with skin prick testing or specific IgE testing and/or patch testing. Some patients may require further investigation with food or drug challenges.

Skin prick testing involves placing separate drops of solutions of allergen extract onto the skin of your forearm and then using a very fine lancet to prick through the drop into the skin. A positive test results in a small raised wheal. Results are known within 15-20 minutes. It is safe but has to be performed in a hospital environment. You should not take any anti-histamines, if possible, for 3-7 days before your appointment. Ideally you should also not apply any creams e.g. moisturisers to your forearms on the day of your appointment.

Patch testing involves placing strips of test substances on the back, typically testing for between 60 and 120 chemicals. The patch tests are applied on a Monday and left on for 48 hours. The first reading is taken on the Wednesday of the same week and the final one on the Friday. For detailed information on this test please see the leaflet on patch testing in Dermatology patient leaflets.

Patient leaflets

We have a number of patient leaflets in our online patient information leaflet library;

Further information

Private healthcare

Private appointments are also available; please see OUH Private Healthcare

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