Clinical Immunology/Immunodeficiency

Information for patients 

General information

PID UK (Primary Immunodeficiency UK) is a patient organisation that has produced useful information for patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiency.

The UK PIN (UK Primary Immunodeficiency Network), an organisation of specialist doctors in Clinical Immunology in the UK, is another useful source of information.

If you have been diagnosed with an immunodeficiency and are followed up by our department, please inform us if you are admitted to hospital for non-elective reasons (i.e. for emergencies like an infection), on 01174143456. Please also let any other medical practitioners involved in your care know about your immune deficiency.

COVID-19

We are advising our patients to follow government guidelines in terms of protecting themselves from COVID-19. These are updated regularly and can be found here. UK PIN also produces expert guidance on patients with immunodeficiency in relation to COVID-19.

In general, it is advised that all patients with immune deficiency try to reduce their contacts and clean their hands/home/workspaces regularly in order to prevent them from being infected.

Our services will flex according to the situation in the hospital and consultations may be performed by telephone or video call. Otherwise, information should be sought on the listed websites. 

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. temperature >37.8oC, a new continuous cough, or change in sense of taste or smell) then, as with other patients, you should follow government advice, and seek a COVID-19 nose/throat swab test. If positive, you should self-isolate for at least 5 days from onset of symptoms. If you are due to come to the hospital for a routine appointment (e.g. immunoglobulin infusion) then you should not attend and reschedule your appointment.

Treatments for COVID-19 infection for patients with immunodeficiency are available. If you become infected, please discuss with your GP urgently who can potentially send a referral to a COVID-19 Medicine Delivery Unit (CMDU) via eRS if appropriate. Alternatively, you can contact NHS 111 or us- our Immunology service is open office hours, Monday to Friday, and you can get in touch on the phone numbers above. If you are very unwell with COVID-19 then you may consider attending your local A&E. 

 COVID-19 Vaccines

Useful information with regards to COVID-19 vaccines can be found from the government website, on the PID UK website and on the BSI (British Society of Immunology) website. Individuals who are severely immunosuppressed who have completed their primary course are now advised to have a fifth dose, around 6 months after their last one. We do not yet know how effective COVID-19 vaccines are in immunocompromised individuals so we would advise our patients to continue to adhere to social distancing guidance.

 

Information for GPs - Clinical Immunology/ Immunodeficiency Service

We run regular Adult Immunology/Immunodeficiency (and Allergy) clinics on Tuesday mornings, Thursday afternoons, and all-day Friday reviewing patients referred (see Patient Referral Pathways) to our service with suspected or confirmed immune deficiency. Criteria and advice for whom to refer can be found on the Remedy website.

Our service provides replacement antibody therapy (immunoglobulin) to patients with confirmed antibody deficiency. This can be given in hospital (as a day case) or at home.

For patients with recurrent infections please try to confirm the nature of the infection before referral. For example, by sending relevant microbiological cultures, viral swab tests, taking the patient’s temperature, inflammatory markers, radiology etc.

 

Last updated 31/08/2022

Clinical Immunology/Immunodeficiency