Introduction: In Ireland, around 5% of children and 3% adults have food allergy (134,000 people). This current paper describes a survey that was carried out on a subset of service-users with the aim of identifying whether there is a need for increased specialist medical services and/or for a funded charity such as Anaphylaxis Ireland, defunct since 2015.
Materials & Methods: These needs were assessed via an online survey using Google Forms. The survey was conducted from 17-27th February 2020. There were 31 questions in total, relating to topics such as symptoms, clinical wait times, satisfaction with care provided and demand for support services.
Results: There were 50 valid responses. Results showed that wait-times for referrals are shorter for privately referred patients (43% seen in 1 month) than public patients (20% seen in 1 month), most patients did not see a dietician (81.8%) and allergy management is generally effective (93% decrease in severe cases). Also, there is high demand for support services such as allergen-free food list (54.5% of respondents) and caterer’s lists (54.5% of respondents).
Discussion: This is the first paper outlining food allergy care since 2015 in Ireland and the findings suggest the need for improved GP awareness of food allergy and filling consultant immunologist posts to reduce public wait times. Also, a funded support organisation should be reinstated to meet all the needs of food allergy patients.
Bolger, Joseph; Blake, Nicola; and Vinod, Sneha
"An Investigation of Healthcare Supports for Those with Food Allergy in Ireland,"
International Undergraduate Journal of Health Sciences: Vol. 1:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://sword.cit.ie/iujhs/vol1/iss1/5