Allergy passport launched at Leeds Children’s Hospital
4 May 2016
Leeds Children’s Hospital has launched a new interactive “allergy passport” to help improve the experience for young people attending its allergy clinics.
The Allergy Adventures’ Passport Pack has been specially designed to help parents and carers explain to children what will happen on the day of their visit to the allergy clinic, thereby helping to reduce anxiety levels. It also helps the clinical l team to introduce an element of fun into the clinic and is a useful distraction during painful procedures.
Around 2000 children and young people from across West Yorkshire attend the allergy clinics at Leeds Children’s Hospital annually. There are 10 clinics every week, supported by a small team of specialist nurses and consultants.
Brenda DeWitt, Children’s Allergy Nurse Specialist at Leeds Children’s Hospital, said: “We are really pleased to be rolling out the new allergy passport across our clinics and hope it will make a big difference to the experience of young patients and help reduce anxiety for both children and their parents.
Shown with the new passports are (back row l-r) Dr Aida Semic-Jusufagic , Roisin O’Kane and Dr Donald Hodge; (front row l-r) Brenda DeWitt, Hailey Phillips and Rachel Oller
“We know that for many children coming to their allergy appointments can be quite a scary experience, and we want to try and make the patient journey through the clinic more fun. The passports are colourful and really well designed, and youngsters will be able to see where they are going and collect a passport stamp at each stage as well as a certificate at the end.
“The passport also contains cartoon 'allergy friends' - who also suffer from allergies - to help guide the children through the various parts of the day and help show them that they are not alone.”
The allergy passport is the brainchild of Hailey Phillips from Allergy Adventures, who has been gradually introducing it at hospitals across the UK.
She explained: “For the last few years I’ve worked hard to help children with food allergies so to have the Allergy Adventures’ Passport Pack launch in Leeds Children’s Hospital is fantastic. It’s great to know this initiative will not only help ease children’s anxiety but give them something fun to focus on during their allergy appointments."