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'GPs should lead allergy services'

GPs should lead services for allergy sufferers but a massive training programme is needed, a Royal College of Physicians report has concluded.

A shortage of allergy specialists means many patients are treated by GPs, even though most have no training in allergy and no access to expert advice, the report, 'Containing the Allergy Epidemic', stated.

Allergic disease accounts for 6 per cent of consultations and 10 per cent of the GP prescribing budget, at a total annual cost of £900 million.

'There is an urgent need for GPs to acquire the necessary knowledge and training so they can provide an effective allergy service,' it concluded.

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