Allergy Service - Salford Royal

The Allergy service is part of Clinical Immunology at Salford Royal and is one of the four referral centres for Adult Immunodeficiency and Allergy. It is a part of North West Allergy and Clinical Immunology network. Our lead consultant is Dr Archana Herwadkar (Consultant Clinical Immunologist). We hold a number of specialist Immunodeficiency and Allergy clinics and liaise closely with other specialists in local hospitals. We are an adult service seeing patients from 16 years old.

The Clinical Immunology service is committed to provide the highest quality service to the patients. 

Our aim is to provide quality assured service of the highest standards and in line with the Trust’s values of “patient and customer focus, accountability, continuous improvement and respect”.

The department maintains secure databases of all patients undergoing the following treatments and investigations: allergy challenges, immunotherapy, immunoglobulin replacement and hereditary angioedema patients, to monitor the efficacy of the treatment and allow for regular audit of our practice against local and national standards.

We offer patients the opportunity to take part in a number of studies which have included:

  • The national database for immunodeficiency (UKPID)
  • COVAD study
  • The national genome 100K project
  • Patient support groups
  • Education and training

The department is actively involved in the delivery of edu​cational sessions for GPs and specialists, medical students and speaking and presenting posters at national conferences such as the BSACI, ESID and INGID.

The Allergy service provides facilities for the investigations, diagnosis treatment of allergic diseases including:

  • Airborne allergen hypersensitivity
  • Food allergy
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Urticaria and angioedema
  • Adverse drug including local anaesthetic reactions
  • Allergen (venom) immunotherapy (desensitisation)
  • Oral challenge test
  • Aspirin desensitisation

We do not offer services to patients with

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Food intolerance

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Similarly adult patients with severe eczema are unlikely to have food as a triggering factor for their eczema flare up and do not benefit from our expertise. These patients are best referred to alternative services.

Clinics for allergy diagnosis, assessment and management of the above allergy conditions are held in the Outpatients Departments every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Desensitisation treatments for venom allergy and food and drug provocation challenges are held respectively on the Brook Treatment Unit on Wednesday and Friday afternoons 

We carry out skin testing for penicillin allergy and subsequent antibiotic challenges on the Brook Treatment Unit once a month.

What will happen during my allergy clinic appointment?

What will happen during my allergy clinic appointment?

One of our doctors or nurses will take the details of your symptoms. Background medical questions will help us to understand other factors that might be involved. From your description of symptoms and the answers to other questions, we will begin to understand what the causes might be.  A short medical examination might be necessary, but you will always be offered a chaperone if you would like one.

For most patients we can complete the discussion, allergy testing (if required for assessment) and management plan in one visit.

Please allow at least an hour for the consultation, testing and management plan.


Will I have an allergy test?

The best way to make a diagnosis of allergy is from the symptoms and history that you give, but often allergy tests will also be helpful to confirm the diagnosis.  We will test likely and relevant allergens (eg peanut, tree nuts, and pollens), blanket allergy testing is not performed. Many patients, e.g. those with frequent rash without any obvious trigger, will not require an allergy test.

Please stop taking your anti-histamines for 72 hours before your appointment

This is so we can carry out skin testing without the medication interfering with the results. If you cannot manage without anti-histamines, please contact the Immunology nurses to discuss.


Skin-prick test for allergens

A skin-prick test is a quick and useful test when looking for an allergen. It is safe and you get the results within about 20 minutes. Your skin on your arms or back is pricked with a tiny amount of the suspected allergen. If you have a reaction, the skin around the prick will very quickly become itchy and a red, with a swollen mark called a wheal.


Blood test for allergens

The blood test used to test for allergens is called a specific IgE test. It is used to measure the number of IgE antibodies in your blood that have been produced by your immune system in response to a suspected allergen.  The results of this test should be interpreted by a specialist.


Do I need to bring anything to the appointment?

Please make sure you bring an up-to-date list of all your medications.

Sometimes people identify food as a possible cause of their allergic symptoms. Please bring in the main ingredients or a list of ingredients which are of concern to your appointment. Skin testing for fruit and vegetables is best done with fresh, raw ingredients so it is very useful if you can bring these with you e.g. apple, banana, carrot. We will perform the tests which are appropriate to your clinical history.

If the possible allergen is a drug, please bring in the actual box/ carton of the drug or the name of the drug if possible. If you wish to discuss this, please contact the Immunology nurses.


What can I expect by the end of the clinic?

Each patient that attends the service will have an individual written management plan contained within a clinical letter posted to them. Each patient and GP receives a copy of the letter.  For prescriptions required quickly we will give you a form for your GP.  This should be dropped off at your local surgery for your GP to provide a prescription.

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