The UHSM Allergy Centre 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 Paediatric Service, providing the same range of allergy care to children.
The centre 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.
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 UHSM 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 create 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 blood tests and challenge tests to foods, drugs, bee or wasp venoms, or latex. In some patients, we offer desensitisation (or ‘allergen specific 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.
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
- insect venom allergy (bee and wasp)
- drug allergy and vaccine allergy
- urticaria and angioedema
- latex allergy
- mastocytosis and related disorders
All clinics are held at University Hospital of South Manchester at Wythenshawe Hospital. Patients are initially seen in the General Allergy Clinic, Paediatric or Joint Paediatric Allergy Clinic, and referred to other specialist clinics if and when appropriate.
These specialist clinics include the Asthma and Allergy Clinic, Paediatric Allergy Clinic, Nut Allergy Clinic, Severe Urticaria Service, Allergen Specific Immunotherapy Service, Drug Allergy Investigation Service and Day Cases – Challenges. We also have a Dietician clinic providing advice to patients with food allergies including alternative food options to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet despite food exclusions.
Greater Manchester Rapid Access Anaphylaxis Clinic (GMRAAC)
We also run the Greater Manchester Rapid Access Anaphylaxis Clinic. Patients presenting with anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening severe allergic reaction, need appropriate post-anaphylaxis care in accordance with guidance from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence). This clinic offers patients presenting to Emergency Departments of other Greater Manchester hospitals with suspected anaphylaxis an appointment within seven days of referral for post-anaphylaxis care. We provide this in collaboration with Central Manchester University Hospital 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
Other sources of useful information
The UHSM Allergy Centre 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.
If you are worried about an allergy, ask your GP to refer you to the UHSM Allergy Centre.Allergy Centre Leaflet (PDF – 1Mb)
Referral pathways and guidance
The Allergy Centre is based at the Clinical Research Centre at the NIHR Building, attached to the Langley Building – Medicines Evaluation Unit; this is situated on Southmoor Road, across from the main hospital site.
The Children’s Department is based in the Green Zone, near Entrance 10, off Floats Road.