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Shared Care for Allergy Bulletin December 2023 - Edition 6

Welcome to the 6th Edition of the Shared Care for Allergy Bulletin! We are excited to keep you informed about the latest developments with the Shared Care for Allergy project. Our goal is to improve access to care for people living with allergic conditions. Here are the latest updates.

Progress made in 2023

This year we have been listening to and understanding the views and perspectives of different people regarding allergy care. People from across Australia who need allergy care for themselves or the people they care for, and people who provide allergy care, connected with us to share their thoughts and experiences. These conversations have guided us on how to improve access and provide care closer to where people live. People really care about this issue and are motivated to work together to make things better.

Shared Care for Allergy workshop

From 10-11 November 2023, we held a two-day workshop in Sydney with people who provide allergy care and people who access allergy care. The purpose of the workshop was to:

  1. Consider all the information collected by the project so far.
  2. Decide on key activities that will improve access to care.
  3. Discuss how we can all work together to progress these activities.

There was agreement that healthcare professionals working in the community could be supported to play a greater role in helping patients with allergies. With the right training, resources and skills and support from hospital allergy services, paediatricians, GPs, nurse practitioners (nurses with extra training), nurses, pharmacists, dietitians and psychologists, can provide high quality allergy care in the community, particularly in regional areas.

The workshop explored different ways to provide appropriate allergy care closer to where people live. Effective connections between local healthcare professionals, hospital allergy services and allergy specialists would mean people with allergies can get the right advice and support, much sooner.

The National Allergy Council is developing a Workplan for the next 12 months based on the outcomes of this workshop.

shared care workshop nov 2023

Pictured: Participants of a two-day Shared Care Workshop held in Sydney on 10-11 November 2023.

Shared Care for Allergy subgroups

There are two subgroups that have been set up to work on specific parts of the project:

  • What education and training about allergy will look like in the future for healthcare professionals.
  • What the best allergy care looks like (standards of care).

These working groups met for the first time in September and October and will start working on these parts of the project using information gathered through the consultations and meetings, working closely with education providers and peak professional bodies.

Managing the change from accessing children’s allergy services to accessing adult allergy services (transitioning care)

As part of the Shared Care for Allergy project, the National Allergy Council is developing a national standard of care for the transition of allergy care from paediatric (children’s) to adult allergy services when age appropriate. It is important for young people to transition to appropriate adult services to ensure ongoing care by a clinical immunology/allergy specialist when required.

To learn more about what currently happens, we are surveying parents of children with allergies and young people living with allergies (aged 18-25) who are going through, or have been through, this transition process.

shared care transition survey

Access the short survey now.

The survey closes on Friday 8 December 2023. We would appreciate your support by sharing the survey link.

We will also be consulting with Heads of Hospital Allergy Departments and people who have run successful transition programs.

Updates from our partners

The National Allergy Council continues to work alongside the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), to progress the many different parts of the Shared Care for Allergy project, along with the National Allergy Centre of Excellence (NACE), who are providing research support.

Education and training update from ASCIA

ASCIA are:

  • Collecting information about clinical immunology/allergy specialists and other doctors working in public hospital allergy clinics and private practice, and current wait times.
  • Working with the National Allergy Council on an application to government that will improve access to food and drug challenges, which currently have long wait lists.
  • Conducting surveys to find out how allergy/anaphylaxis training is being provided in university courses for healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and allied health. This will inform recommendations about what training should be included in health professional courses and ways to deliver the training.

More information about ASCIA’s involvement in the Shared Care for Allergy project is available on the ASCIA website.

Update from A&AA

A&AA are:

  • Learning more about what the allergy community likes and prefers when it comes to receiving information and support. They are surveying their membership to collect feedback to evaluate their support services and find out where they can improve.
  • Rolling out a new support program called AllergyConnect™ that will educate and support people living with allergies while they wait for specialist appointments. This will start with a focus on eczema.
  • Understanding how to support people who have allergies and live in rural or remote areas, come from different cultures or speak different languages, or have difficulty reading and writing. The goal for 2024 will be to provide tailored support that reaches more people in the community who need help managing and understanding allergy.

Update from NACE

The NACE are finalising a Shared Care scoping review to look at what has been published on shared care in Australia and other countries.

Merry Christmas

As this is our last Bulletin for the year, we would like to thank you for your continued support and involvement. Together, we will continue to strive for greater access to allergy care.

We wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas.

merry christmas

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