Allergy Centre – Wythenshawe Hospital

The Allergy Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital provides comprehensive allergy care to adults, offering a holistic approach to diagnosis and management of a wide range of allergic disorders. It also has close links with the Paediatrics Service, providing the same range of allergy care to children. It is an integrated clinical and research unit with an active research programme, ensuring that patients have access to the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases. Dr Susana Marinho is the Clinical lead for the Allergy Service and Professor Angela Simpson is the Research Lead.
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In order to be seen in our service, a referral from a General Practitioner or Specialist is required. Please see the Referral Information section below for further details.

Allergies

An allergy is an undesirable potentially severe or even life-threatening reaction to a substance that normally is harmless (and which has no effect in non-allergic individuals).  Such substances are called allergens.  Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Aeroallergens: grass, tree and weed pollen, house dust mites, furry animals, moulds
  • Foods: common examples are peanut and tree nuts, shellfish, fruits, eggs and dairy
  • Medications: antibiotics (e.g. penicillin), NSAIDs (e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen), general anaesthetics, etc.

What does the Allergy Centre offer?

We provide a service for the diagnosis of the full spectrum of allergic conditions, offering a unified approach to their management. This means we assess and manage all allergic problems patients may have and formulate a management plan that addresses these and takes into account their other medical conditions, with the aim to improve their health and quality of life.

We perform diagnostic skin tests, laboratory tests (blood) and challenge tests to foods, drugs, bee/wasp venoms, latex; in some patients, we offer desensitisation (or allergen immunotherapy) for bee and wasp venom allergy, inhalant allergy (or rhinoconjunctivitis) for allergens such as pollen, mites, or cats, and desensitisation to drugs such as aspirin.  We also perform diagnostic food and drug challenges where appropriate.

Correct diagnosis of an allergy means we can help you take the right steps to properly manage your condition.

We accept referrals for adults and children with the following conditions:

  • allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, such as pollen allergy (hay fever), allergy to animals, allergy to house dust mites
  • food allergy (we do not routinely investigate food intolerances)
  • anaphylaxis
  • insect venom allergy (bee and wasp)
  • drug allergy /hypersensitivity, including perioperative anaphylaxis
  • vaccine allergy
  • urticaria and angioedema
  • asthma
  • latex allergy
  • eczema
  • mastocytosis and related disorders

When and where are the clinics held?

All the clinics are held at the Allergy Centre (F10), Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. Patients are initially seen in the General Allergy Clinic and referred to other specialist clinics if and when appropriate.

General Allergy Clinic      

Held most days of the week and run by doctors specialised in allergy or with an interest in allergy (Dr Susana Marinho, Dr Marina Tsoumani, Professor Angela Simpson, Dr Vincent St Aubyn Crump) and specialist allergy nurses (Ms Fiona Chew, Ms Jenny Addison).

Allergy and Asthma clinic

Run by Professor Angela Simpson and Dr Hannah Durrington.

Joint Paediatric Allergy Clinic

Held every 4th Monday afternoon of the month with Dr Naveen Rao (Consultant Paediatrician) and Dr Susana Marinho (Consultant Allergist).

Dr Naveen Rao runs weekly paediatric allergy clinics along with a paediatric dietician. This clinic is ideal for infants and children with food allergies.

Nut Allergy Clinic

Held once per month and run by Dr Marina Tsoumani; this is a dedicated clinic for individuals with peanut and tree nut allergies.

Severe Urticaria Service

Held at least once monthly and run by Dr Susana Marinho for assessment and treatment of patients with severe chronic urticaria and angioedema. Treatment with omalizumab is also provided to eligible patients.     

Allergen Immunotherapy Service          

Patients are given allergen immunotherapy (desensitisation) to allergens such as bee/wasp venom, tree, grass or weed pollens, dust mites, cat, dog, horse, etc.

Drug Allergy Investigation Service

Patients are investigated and skin tested to drugs or bee/wasp venoms. Investigation of perioperative anaphylaxis is offered in this service. Held on most afternoons of the week (Dr S Marinho, Dr M Tsoumani and Dr Vincent St Aubyn Crump).

Day Cases – Challenges     

Provocation challenges with foods or drugs are carried out to investigate allergies and/or find suitable alternatives. Desensitisation to drugs is also carried out. Held daily and run by Dr Susana Marinho, Dr Marina Tsoumani and Dr Vincent St Aubyn Crump.

Perioperative Anaphylaxis Service

We investigate cases of suspected perioperative anaphylaxis with blood and skin tests, as well as drug challenges wherever appropriate. We run a regular perioperative anaphylaxis MDT with Dr Steven Knight (Consultant Anaesthetist) to discuss all cases, agree on diagnoses and culprits and formulate a detailed plan including drugs/substances to avoid and suggested drugs for future procedures.

Dietetic Service

Held once per week and run by a dietitian with a special interest in allergy, Ms Claire Wright. This service provides advice to patients with food allergies. This service provides patients with better understanding of their food allergies, a detailed plan for food avoidance diets (with useful hints and tips on how to manage this) and suitable alternative options for maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet despite food exclusions.

Psychology Service

Held twice per week and run by a Clinical Psychologist with a special interest in allergy, Dr Azza Aglan.  Living with allergies can be a very distressing experience and can significantly impact on patients’ quality of life.  Because allergies are often complex problems, which can affect people in many different ways, a thorough assessment is very important to support them to identify ways of coping to manage their life living with allergies.  This service provides psychological support and advice to patients suffering with allergies; the aim of any psychological intervention is not to treat the allergy symptoms themselves but to help patients explore and discover what things in life are important and meaningful to them and what factors past and present are standing in the way of them being able to achieve their goals.   Learning new ways of coping will help them to gradually regain control of their life despite the impact of allergy. This service makes an invaluable contribution to the holistic approach to patients that the Allergy Centre is strives to offer.

Greater Manchester Rapid Access Anaphylaxis Clinic          

We also run the Greater Manchester Rapid Access Anaphylaxis Clinic. Patients presenting, a potentially life-threatening severe allergic reaction, need appropriate post-anaphylaxis care (in accordance with guidance from NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

This clinic is for patients presenting to Emergency Departments of other Greater Manchester hospitals with suspected anaphylaxis only, an appointment within seven days of referral for post-anaphylaxis care. We provide this in collaboration with the Immunology and Allergy service at Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

What should you expect from the GMRAAC appointment?

  • A focussed assessment of what happened during the recent reaction
  • A review of the documentation from the recent reaction
  • An additional blood sample may be required – but this will not be for an allergy test
  • Advice on how to manage any future allergy including what to do, when to call for help and how to use anti-allergy medications
  • Discussion and advice on avoidance, if a clear trigger is identified
  • To plan allergy investigations, if required (allergy investigations cannot be carried out this close to a reaction and are usually carried out no sooner than 4 to 6 weeks after)

What not to expect from the GMRAAC appointment?

  • Allergy tests will not be carried out at this initial assessment as they are not reliable this close to an allergic reaction
  • An extensive review of all possible or past allergies or any other unrelated health problems

Download the referral form and patient information below (for ED Department use)

Education and Training

The Allergy Centre play a big role in disseminating Allergy knowledge.

We actively train junior doctors – currently have two Allergy trainees – and registered nurses for specialist roles within the Allergy team.

We regularly provide teaching on relevant Allergy topics to Respiratory trainees, Core Medical Trainees, Foundation Trainees, and Medical Students.

We also run a yearly module on Hypersensitivity and Allergy for the MSc in Clinical Immunology and STP Clinical Immunology pathway with the University of Manchester.

In addition, we do regular training sessions for GPs.

Research

The Allergy Centre- Wythenshawe Hospital has an active research interest in the fields of several allergic diseases such as asthma, food allergy, urticaria etc. This has been facilitated by Manchester Respiratory, Allergy and Thoracic Surgery Biobank (ManARTS) established in 2011. ManARTS comprises a repository of biological samples and detailed clinical information from patients with a range of different diseases, including asthma, cough, COPD, fungal lung disease and patients with allergies.

We are currently taking part in Europe’s largest study of Food Allergy – IFAAM.

You can learn about our leading research work, how this benefits patients, and how you can get involved, by visiting our clinical research facility pages.

 

Patient referrals

For patients

If you are worried about an allergy, ask your GP to refer you to the Allergy Centre.

For GPs and Specialists

Please see the management and referral pathways for common conditions below if you are considering a referral to our service.

Referrals from Primary Care must be sent through the NHS e-Referral System.

Specialist referrals can be sent via post or email:

Allergy Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital (F10)
Wythenshawe Hospital
Southmoor Rd
M23 9LT

mft.AllergyCentre@nhs.net

Referral pathways and guidance

Referral for perioperative anaphylaxis

Referral for anaphylaxis during other interventional procedures

Referral from Emergency Departments to GMRAAC

Staff

Doctors
Dr Susana Marinho Consultant Allergist & Clinical Lead
Dr Marina Tsoumani Consultant Allergist
Professor Angela Simpson Professor of Respiratory Medicine with interest in Allergy
Dr Vincent St Aubyn Crump Locum Consultant Allergist
Dr Hannah Durrington Honorary  Respiratory Physician
Dr Samia Azmi Allergy ST3
Dr Jia Li Liau Allergy ST6
Dr Georgios Gkimpas Clinical Fellow in Allergy
Dr Steven Knight Consultant Anaesthetist   (perioperative anaphylaxis MDT)
Nurses, HCWs & AHPs
Ms Fiona Chew Allergy Nurse Specialist
Ms Jenny Addison Allergy Nurse Specialist
Ms Caroline Shearson Staff Nurse
Ms Jollykutty Joseph Staff Nurse
Ms Hollie Burrows Staff Nurse
Ms Claire Wright Allergy Dietitian
Dr Azza Aglan Principal Clinical Psychologist – Allergy
Ms Mariola Zmudzka Health Care Worker
Ms Natty Sinclair Health Care Worker
Secretaries and other administrative staff
Ms Samantha Peckitt Allergy Office Manager
Ms Christine Gillett Allergy Secretary
Ms Joanna Chadwick Allergy Secretary
Vacant Allergy Secretary
Ms Juhi Gupta Allergy Audio-typist
Mr David Coppel Allergy Concierge/Caretaker