Trust’s allergy service achieves national accreditation

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust’s allergy service recently achieved national accreditation by The Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) Improving Quality in Allergy Services (IQAS) accreditation scheme.

Led by Professor Stephen Durham and Dr Guy Allergy serviceScadding, the Trust’s allergy service diagnoses and manages all types of suspected allergic conditions relating to asthma, rhinitis (hay fever), food, insect venom and drugs. The service was awarded accreditation following stringent assessment of its facilities, staff and working practices, to evidence its commitment to the delivery of high-quality patient care. The accreditation makes the Trust’s allergy service one of just several services in the country to receive the accolade.

The IQAS scheme aims to improve the quality and outcomes of clinical services through the achievement of best practice standards. The inspection team, led by RCP IQAS clinical lead Professor Thirumala Krishna, spent a day at the Trust to review the service.

Their report said: “The allergy department at Royal Brompton is an excellent, comprehensive, multi-professional and cohesive service delivering  high quality, evidence-based care for their patients. The staff are highly skilled, knowledgeable, motivated and committed to provision of a safe and patient-centred care. The service has an excellent clinical leadership and are well supported by their senior management.”

The inspectors also noted the 100 per cent positive feedback provided by patients. One patient commented: “The whole service was professional and well-delivered. I was very well looked-after.”

Consultant allergy dietitian, Dr Isabel Skypala, who led the accreditation process for the allergy team, said: “Applying for accreditation was a good way for us to look at our service and audit the quality of work we are doing. There were 44 standards that needed to be met and I am delighted that we managed to achieve all of them and have been officially recognised as providing a high-class allergy service.”

Other key areas that the inspectors said stood out were:

  • The Food Allergy service, led by Dr Skypala, consultant dietitian, who has international recognition for her work in Food Allergy;
  • The combined medical-surgical rhinology (nose) clinic was described as a world class service and role model for UK. Jointly delivered with ENT surgeons, it is ‘one stop’ with patients having ENT procedures and kin tests and other diagnostic services including CT scanning as needed during a single appointment;
  • The allergy service protocols for core areas of specialist care and its weekly MDT meetings to discuss complex clinical cases;
  • The ground-breaking research carried out in the field of rhinitis, and allergen-specific immunotherapy over the last three decades. The group has led landmark clinical trials in grass pollen immunotherapy for hay fever and unravelled key immune mechanisms that have led the way for novel treatment approaches, including sublingual tablet immunotherapy.