Recent Allergy Posts

  • Hay fever free advice

    May 29, 2017

    Twenty Trust staff members should be able to enjoy the outdoors more this summer. They attended our free drop-in sessions at Heartlands, Good Hope and the […]

  • Free Hay Fever advice clinic

    April 25, 2017

    The Allergy team is offering free advice to hay fever sufferers working at Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals and the Chest Clinic. It may seem a bit […]

  • UK’s first Accredited Allergy Centre

    September 29, 2016

    “Patient-centered care is what you deliver” “One of the most advanced comprehensive Allergy Services in the UK” The compliments flowed when the West Midlands Allergy Centre was […]

European Immunodeficiency comes to Birmingham in 2020

ESID, the European Society for Imunodeficiency, will host their biennial meeting in Birmingham’s International Convention Centre in 2020. 

Immunologists from Heartlands Hospital led the bid to bring the conference back to the UK for the first time in 30 years. This unique conference combines patient and nursing groups with a medical and scientific meeting, and is the largest Immunodeficiency congress in the world.

2020 will also mark the 50th anniversary of the first NHS Immunodeficiency Centre, founded at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital by Professor Ron Thompson, so we are planning to celebrate Birmingham’s proud record in immunodeficiency care and research.ICC-External-Night

Hay fever free advice

Twenty Trust staff members should be able to enjoy the outdoors more this summer. They attended our free drop-in sessions at Heartlands, Good Hope and the Chest Clinic, and got free advice about managing their hay fever symptoms.

We were delighted to get feedback that most felt they had learned a lot and would make big changes to the way they treat their hay fever this year. One staff member even planned to ask his GP about getting referred for immunotherapy.

Now get out there and enjoy the sunny weather!

Free Hay Fever advice clinic

The Allergy team is offering free advice to hay fever sufferers working at Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals and the Chest Clinic.

It may seem a bit early to be thinking about hay fever (although if you are allergic to tree pollens you may be getting symptoms already). Grass pollen counts don’t really get going until May, but people with severe hay fever need to be prepared for this beforehand.

Hospital staff can drop in to a free advice clinic on the following dates:

  • Heartlands Tues 2nd May  12.00 – 13.15 outside lecture theatre
  • Heartlands Wed 3rd May  12.00 – 13.15 outside lecture theatre
  • Good Hope Thurs 4th May 13.00 – 14.00  main corridor outside X-ray
  • Heartlands Friday 5th May 12.00 – 13.15 outside lecture theatre
  • Chest Clinic Mon 8th May 12.45 – 13.30

 

 

UK’s first Accredited Allergy Centre

Patient-centered care is what you deliver

One of the most advanced comprehensive Allergy Services in the UK

The compliments flowed when the West Midlands Allergy Centre was inspected by the IQAS team on the 14th September. In the first inspection of its kind in the UK, the allergy service at HEFT was awarded full accreditation for providing a safe, effective and evidence-based service.

Patient feedback was an important part of the assessment, and some patients came in person to give the inspectors their views on the service that they had from the allergy team.

Dr Krishna who leads the team said “I am delighted that the first allergy service has achieved IQAS accreditation following a stringent independent assessment by a very experienced team, and am pleased that it has been my centre to do this”.

You can see more details of the inspection at the IQAS website.

“Fantastic Day Out”

Once again the sun shone on over 100 people who joined us for our Immunology Patient and Family Day on Sunday 3rd July. Patients and professional speakers all shared their experiences of living and working with immunodeficiency. There were moving and inspiring patient stories, updates on treatment and research, and workshops to explore specific topics in more detail. Of course there was plenty of time to chat and swap stories over coffee and lunch.

 

Feedback 3

We’ve had some great feedback and plan to put a summary of the meeting, photos and patients’ questions on this website soon.

 

Feedback 1

 

IMG_8343

Dr Alex Richter speaking to patients from Heartlands Hospital and University Hospital Birmingham about immunoglobulin products.

 

New Anaphylaxis Campaign Support Group

Patients with anaphylaxis and their family and carers will have a new opportunity to meet others with the same problem. The Anaphylaxis Campaign, a UK support group, has established a new local group in Birmingham. Their first meeting will be at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Wednesday 8th June  6.30pm at the Innovation Hub meeting room.

You can find details at the Anaphylaxis Campaign website or by contacting keithbyrne@msn.com.

Anaph Camp image 2

Spring Cold – or is it Tree Pollens?

 

At this time of year sneezing and sniffles could just be a cold. But in some people these symptoms are actually caused by allergies to tree pollens.

From now until late April trees are shedding their pollen to the wind, causing some people misery with allergy symptoms. The treatments are the same as for grass pollen allergies (“hay fever”) – have a look at our information about immunotherapy, which is an effective treatment for some sufferers.

Inspectors praise Allergy service

The West Midlands Allergy Centre based at HEFT is a “robust, quality clinical service”, according to an inspection by the IQAS team from the Royal College of Physicians. Debbie Johnston, who led the inspection, praised the teamwork and leadership, and was impressed by patient feedback and evidence of good communication. The inspection team specially commented on the fantastic nursing team, and the quality of the clinical management and facilities.

The Allergy Centre was inspected as a pilot site for the new IQAS (Improving Quality in Allergy Services) accreditation scheme. Dr Krishna, who leads the HEFT service, said “I am very proud of the Allergy team that has got this fantastic result. We are well on our way to the full accreditation inspection, which we are planning for early next year”.

HAE patient day 7th November 2015

We are delighted to have been invited to co-host the 2015 HAE-UK Patient Day in Birmingham. This annual event is is an opportunity to meet up with many friends who know what it is like to live with this rare condition and to learn from a panel of HAE Experts.

The theme for this year’s day is ‘HAE through all the changing stages of Life’. If you would like more information or to register for the event, see the HAE UK website. We look forward to seeing many of our patients there.

Hay Fever Misery? – Some Tips

HHF02816

It is peak grass pollen season, and lots of people are sneezing, wheezing and rubbing their eyes.

For most people hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) is a mild condition that is little more than a nuisance and can be controlled with an antihistamine. For some it makes summer a misery.

People with severe hay fever may dread outdoor activities like sports or picnics.  Sitting inside with the windows closed is no fun in this weather.  Hay fever can also severely affect concentration at work and at school (not a good thing during your GCSEs).

1. Only use non-drowsy antihistamines (cetirizine, loratidine and acrivastine*)

2. Use a steroid nose spray daily (beclometasone and fluticasone sprays*)

3. Try to avoid using decongestants regularly – they are fine to use occasionally, but can make rhinitis worse if used often.

4. Pollen avoidance can help:

  • Wash hair before bed so that the pollen in your hair doesn’t get on the pillow.
  • Get the washing in before the pollen begins to settle in the evening.
  • Wear wrap around sunglasses to stop pollen getting into the eyes.
  • A little Vaseline around the inside of your nostrils can trap some of the pollen.
  • Saline rinses can wash some of the pollen out of your nose after you’ve been out.

For severe hay fever, immunotherapy (hay fever injections or tablets) can help to control symptoms – it’s too late to start this year, but ask your GP about referring you to our immunotherapy clinic (or other local allergy clinic) to see if this would be suitable for you for next season.

Lots more advice is available from allergy websites such as Allergy UK’s.

*Available without prescription, but do check with your chemist if you are taking other medications

 

 

See today’s Met Office Pollen Forecast

Recent Immunology Posts

  • European Immunodeficiency comes to Birmingham in 2020

    June 1, 2017

    ESID, the European Society for Imunodeficiency, will host their biennial meeting in Birmingham’s International Convention Centre in 2020.  Immunologists from Heartlands Hospital led the bid to bring […]

  • “Fantastic Day Out”

    July 4, 2016

    Once again the sun shone on over 100 people who joined us for our Immunology Patient and Family Day on Sunday 3rd July. Patients and professional speakers […]

  • Patient and Family Day 3rd July 2016

    May 27, 2016

    This year’s Immunology Patient and Family Day will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel NEC on Sunday 3rd July. Patients from anywhere in the […]