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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 13:34 GMT
Delays for allergy sufferers
Steffan Daniels
Steffan Daniels is allergic to wheat, eggs, milk and corn
People with allergies in Wales are being forced to wait more than three years for treatment, because of a shortage of consultants.

At present, there is just one consultant clinical immunologist - based in Cardiff - to cover the whole country.

As a result, the level of expertise available to patients varies drastically between areas in Wales.

The specialised health services commission for Wales has now started work on a plan to tackle the problems, starting with the recruitment of two more consultants.

A long-term strategy to cover all of Wales is still in the planning stage, and could take more than five years for patients to see a difference.

Currently, some patients are travelling from as far away as Pembrokeshire to get treatment in Cardiff.

The specialist nursing staff that we had in Llandough hospital are just not available here
Eilir Daniels, Steffan's mother

Sufferers in north Wales, however, must seek help at centres in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

Three-year-old Steffan Daniels, whose family recently moved from Cardiff to Llanrug near Caernarfon, is allergic to wheat, eggs, milk and corn.

His parents used to receive advice from staff at the specialist allergy clinic in Llandough hospital, but are now missing that care.

"The specialist nursing staff that we had in Llandough hospital - as far as we know, they are just not available here, in Gwynedd at least," said his mother Eilir Daniels.

"They were the crucial link, and the crucial back-up support we needed in terms of showing us how to deal with symptoms and coping with life in general," she added.

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