During our recent Immunology patient webinar, we asked people how confident they felt about leaving the house since the start of the Covid pandemic. Our straw poll showed that over half still had concerns, and 1 in 3 felt very uncomfortable.
The impact of Covid on the lives of people with weak immune systems is not fully recognised. Hopefully Prof Richter’s talk helped everyone to understand the risks. Our patients can also ask for support from our psychology service.
We are delighted to welcome Nicola Wilson, our new Clinical Psychologist, to the Immunology team. Nicola will be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Heartlands site, offering psychological support and talking therapies to help our patients in managing worries, stresses, and emotional challenges related to living with a condition affecting their immune system. You can read more about the service here.
If you’d like to speak to Nicola, just ask one of the Immunology team.
The Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology centre at UHB is officially world class after achieving prestigious international recognition.
The West Midlands Allergy and Immunology service at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Foundation Trust – in partnership with the Regional Severe Asthma Service, the Occupational Asthma Service and the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy and School of Pharmacy at the University of Birmingham – has been designated as a World Allergy Organisation (WAO) Centre of Excellence.
Read more about the award here. The WAO website has information about the award and a list of accredited centres around the world.
Following a thorough assessment and an inspection visit, the West Midlands Immunodeficiency Service was recently awarded full accreditation for the service it provides for children and adults with immunodeficiency and HAE.
A team from the Quality in Primary Immunodeficiency Services (QPIDS) scheme, part of the Royal College of Physicians accreditation unit, visited the service at Heartlands Hospital in October. They were full of praise for the service we provide for our patients with immune disorders. This provides us and our patients with reassurance of the quality of the service, and also helps ensure our continued commissioning as a specialised service.
The service was first accredited in 2012. This year the assessment was against new and rigorous independent standards, and we are only the third centre in the UK to be accredited to these. You can find out more about the QPIDS scheme here.
Some of our HAE patients and their families joined us on Saturday 17th September for a day of presentations, discussions and a chat over coffee and lunch.
The Heartlands team were joined by Laura Szutowicz from HAE UK, Dr Andrew Volans (A&E consultant from Scarborough) and Laura Dight (Dietician) for a wide-ranging programme.
We will post highlights of the day and more photos on the patient pages soon.
Members of the Immunology team helped to spread the word about Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) to mark World PI Week in April. The stand in our hospital health information area was well visited. The most popular leaflet was one helping people understand how their amazing immune system works.
About 30 staff attended a lunchtime drop-in hay fever clinic, delivered by the Allergy team during Allergy Awareness week. Allergy nurses and doctors provided a free assessment of symptoms and advice on how to get the most out of over-the-counter medications, together with other tips to help staff stay well during high pollen counts. Feedback was very positive, with most staff saying they will make big changes to how they manage their hay fever this year. Some staff thought that a short talk or presentation would be helpful so we’ll bear this in mind for next year.
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.
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
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