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Medicine Services

Immunology and Allergy

0191 2820669

The North East Regional Immunology & Allergy Unit is based at the RVI and is one of the largest units of its kind in the UK.

Patients attend from across the Region including from Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Borders.  Patients may be experiencing a range of conditions including inhalant and food allergies, drug allergy, chronic urticaria, autoimmune disease, auto inflammatory syndromes, or immunodeficiency (either primary or secondary).

This service is accredited by the Royal College of Physicians for Quality in Primary Immunodeficiency and is registered with the Royal college of Physicians for the Improving Quality in Allergy Services scheme.

 

 


Extensive range of specialist clinics to diagnose and help you manage your condition

Our specialist clinicians and nurse specialists provide a wide range of clinics which assess, investigate and manage immune system disorders and allergic conditions for patients which include the following:

  • Chronic Urticaria clinic providing assessment and investigation of this condition and consideration of exacerbation with treatment including Omalizumab and/or immunosuppression.
  • Drug Allergy Clinic including General Anaesthetic providing assessment and investigation of potentially IgE mediated reactions including reactions to general and local anaesthetics.
  • Immunotherapy Clinic providing desensitisation therapy to a range of inhalant allergens, wasp and bee venom using either subcutaneous injection immunotherapy treatment or sublingual treatment (under the tongue).
  • Medical and Nurse Led Allergy Assessment Clinic providing assessment and management of allergies involving allergen skin prick testing for a wide range of allergic conditions including nut, dairy, pollen, animal dander, house dust mite, latex, drug and venom allergy; investigation and management of anaphylaxis; and training in the use of adrenalin for self-injection.
  • Auto Immune Disease Clinic providing assessment of patients with potentially auto-immune conditions, including vasculitis and auto-inflammatory conditions.
  • Chronic Fatigue Clinic providing specialist assessment and management of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Hereditary Angioedema Clinic to diagnose this condition and provide treatment and advice including long-term preventative medicine and acute treatment of attacks.
  • Primary Immunodeficiency Clinic providing assessment and ongoing clinical management of patients with rare primary immune diseases. We also provide seamless transitional care for young adults with primary immune diseases transferring from the Regional Paediatric Immunology Department.
  • Immunoglobulin Infusion Clinic providing regular infusion treatment for patients who have long-term antibody deficiency resulting in a compromised immune system and consequent inability to fight infection.  Our specialist nurses also provide home therapy training to enable some patients to infuse their treatment in the comfort and convenience of their own homes.

Committed to providing safe, up-to-date clinical care

We have established links with organ based specialist departments in chest medicine, dermatology, gastroenterology and ENT throughout the Trust.

We undertake a wide range of research projects enabling the department to take part in a variety of national and international, multi-centre drug trials in the field of allergy and primary immune deficiency.

Immunology and Allergy Team

Dr Helen BourneConsultant Immunologist

  • Consultant Immunologist
  • Tel: 0191 2820669
  • GMC Code: 4202837
  • Qualifications: MBchB MRCP FRCPath
  • Special Interests

    Allergy

    Immunotherapy

    Immunodeficiency

    Drug Allergy

  • Biography

    I was appointed as a Consultant Immunologist at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in 2007, after completing my training in Oxford, Newcastle and a secondment to Sydney, Australia.  In addition to my clinical interests in allergy, immunotherapy and immunodeficiency, I am also an examiner for the FRCPath.

  • Directorate

    Medicine

  • Hospital Base

    Royal Victoria Infirmary

  • Clinics Provided

    Immunodeficiency & Autoimmunity = fortnightly

    Allergy = weekly

    General Anaesthetic Allergy = fortnightly 

  • Name of Secretary
    Wendy Fairbairn
  • Helen Bourne 

Dr Dinusha Chandratilleke Consultant Immunologist

  • Consultant Immunologist
  • Tel: 0191 282 0669
  • GMC Code: 7569592
  • Qualifications: MBBS (Hon), FRACP, FRCPA
  • Special Interests

    Allergic rhinitis & immunotherapy (SLIT/SCIT)

    Urticaria

    Drug allergy

    Venom allergy

    Anaphylaxis

    Immunodeficiency

    Autoimmune disease

    Diagnostic immunopathology services

  • Biography

    I completed my medical training in Australia (Sydney and Perth), including advanced training in Clinical Immunology/Allergy and Immunopathology.  I moved to Newcastle upon Tyne and started work at the Royal Victoria infirmary in 2017 before being appointed as a Consultant Immunologist in 2018.  In addition, I am an Associate Clinical Lecturer at Newcastle University and am involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate medical students.

  • Directorate

    Medicine

  • Hospital Base

    Royal Victoria Infirmary..

  • Clinics Provided

    Allergy (new and follow-up): 3/week

    Immunodeficiency/Autoimmunity (new and follow-up): 1/week

    Intradermal & Drug Challenge clinic 1/week

  • Name of Secretary
    Heather Wilson
  • Dinusha Chandratilleke 

Dr Suzanne ElcombeConsultant Immunologist

  • Consultant Immunologist
  • Tel: 0191 2820669
  • GMC Code: 6098451
  • Qualifications: BMedSci, MBBS, MRCP, PhD, FRCPath
  • Special Interests

    Primary Immunodeficiency
    Bone Marrow Transplantation for Primary Immunodeficiency
    Auto-inflammatory Diseases
    Allergic disease (including immunotherapy)
    Diagnostic immunology

  • Biography

    I qualified from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2004 and completed training both in the North East of England and Dundee, where I completed a PhD in immunology. I returned to Newcastle for specialist immunology training and was appointed as a consultant immunologist in 2019.

  • Directorate

    Medicine

  • Hospital Base

    Royal Victoria Infirmary

  • Clinics Provided

    Allergy
    Immunology and immunodeficiency
    BMT assessment and follow up (in conjunction with adult haematology and paediatric immunology teams)

  • Name of Secretary
    Jackie Rutherford
  • Suzanne Elcombe 

Dr Gavin SpickettConsultant Immunologist

  • Consultant Immunologist
  • Tel: 0191 282 0669
  • GMC Code: 2659028
  • Qualifications: MA BM BCh LLM DPhil FRCPath FRCP FRCP(E)
  • Special Interests

    Severe allergic disease

    Anaphylaxis

    Latex allergy

    Primary immune deficiency

    Autoimmune disease

    Vasculitis

    Chronic Fatigue

    Diagnostic immunology

    Ethics & medical law

  • Biography

    I qualified from Oxford University in 1980 and trained in Medicine at Ipswich Hospital.  Doctoral studies in immunology at MRC Cellular Immunology Unit.  Specialist training in immunology at Clinical Research Centre Harrow & Oxford.  I have been a Consultant since 1991.

  • Directorate

    Medicine

  • Hospital Base

    Royal Victoria Infirmary

  • Clinics Provided

    Allergy, Immunology & Chronic Fatigue

     

     

  • Name of Secretary
    Jackie Rutherford
  • Any other Information

    Author of undergraduate and postgraduate textbooks on Immunology & Allergy

  • Gavin Spickett 

Dr Catherine StroudClinical Lead - Immunology

  • Clinical Lead - Immunology
  • Tel: 0191 282 0669
  • GMC Code: 4303594
  • Qualifications: BMedSci MBChB MRCP FRCPath
  • Special Interests

    Allergic disease and Urticaria

    Hereditary angioedema and C1 inhibitor deficiency

    Primary immunodeficiency

    Transition from paediatric to adult services

  • Biography

    Having attended Medical School at the University of Sheffield, I completed my pre-registration training in Sheffield. My post-graduate medical SHO training was in Newcastle before taking a registrar post in Immunology based in the Royal Victoria Infirmary. During this post I completed a Certificate in Clinical Education and I now continue to teach undergraduates in the Medical and Dental School. I was appointed as Consultant Immunologist in October 2009 and undertake outpatient clinics specifically advising on the management of allergy, urticaria and angioedema, primary and secondary immunodeficiency and investigation of vasculitis. A particular clinical interest is hereditary angioedema. I am also involved in managing the UKAS accredited Immunology Laboratory here at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, as well as supporting Immunology laboratory services for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. I have been Head of department for the Regional Immunology and Allergy Unit since 2015.

  • Directorate

    Medicine

  • Hospital Base

    Royal Victoria Infirmary

  • Clinics Provided

    Allergy new patient Clinic

    Allergy / Herediatary Angioedema Follow Up Clinic

    Immunodeficiency / General Immunology Clinic

    Immunology Transition Clinic

    Paediatric Immunology Clinic

    Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria

  • Name of Secretary
    Jackie Rutherford
  • Any other Information

    Email secretary - jackie.rutherford@nuth.nhs.uk

     

  • Catherine Stroud 

Louise StoreySpecialist Nurse

  • Specialist Nurse
  • Tel: 0191 2820669
  • GMC Code:
  • Qualifications:
  • Special Interests

    Allergic Disease 
    Immunotherapy 
    Primary Immunodeficiency Treatments 
    Home Therapy

  • Biography

    Having attended Northumbria University and obtained a diploma in nursing, I then continued my academic training to complete my BSc in nursing. Following this I worked in both surgical and medical base units at a senior nurse level. In 2016 I was appointed to the post of Sister in the Clinical Immunology and Allergy unit, and have overseen the organisation of immunotherapy day treatments and managed staffing and appointments. After two years in this post I have now transferred to be a clinical Nurse Specialist within the unit.

  • Louise Storey 

Nicola CoxSpecialist Nurse

  • Specialist Nurse
  • Tel: 0191 282 0669
  • GMC Code:
  • Qualifications:
  • Special Interests

    Immunology 
    Allergy 
    Respiratory

  • Biography

    I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Immunology and Allergy Department at the RVI. I graduated from university in 2006 as a Registered General Nurse and I have a background in Respiratory Medicine and Cystic Fibrosis. I was appointed to Immunology in 2015 caring for patients with complex immunology and allergy conditions. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist I act as a patient advocate and can be the link between the patient and the medical team, often being the first point of call with any queries or concerns. My main aim is to ensure that patients receive comprehensive individualised care that considers all aspects of a patients needs which results in the best possible care being provided to patients and their families.

  • Nicola Cox 

Contact us

For further information on this service, please contact: 

  • Tel: 0191 282 0669 

Current Regional Guidelines for the Department

You can find us on a map. You can access the unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle:

  • Leazes Wing (Richardson Road Entrance), level three, via Leazes Wing reception, turn right onto main corridor toward Immunology and Allergy Unit which is located on the right-hand side of the corridor, alternatively;
  • New Victoria Wing (Queen Victoria Road) main entrance level one, or  via multi-storey car park. Proceed to New Victoria Wing level three and follow corridor past x-ray to Leazes Wing. The Regional Immunology and Allergy Unit is located on the left hand side just before Leazes Wing reception.

On arrival patients will be greeted by reception staff, who will direct you to the waiting area prior to your appointment. Disabled access is available. 

 

 

 

 

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