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.

Patients should please only contact the department on 0117 4148392 or 0117 4148393, or at allergyandimmunology@nbt.nhs.uk if they feel that their immunology/immunodeficiency problem requires urgent attention.

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 on the government website.

In general, it is advised that all patients with immune deficiency take special care in reducing their contacts, working from home, and cleaning hands/home/workspaces regularly in order to prevent them from being exposed to coronavirus. If we consider a patient to be in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' group, then the government should have written to them previously during the first COVID-19 wave, and we would have supplemented this. In this letter or email we indicated a recommendation to shield and that these patients were in UK PIN group 1 (a clinically extremely vulnerable patient group). Government advice on COVID-19, extreme vulnerability and shielding can be found on the government website

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 patients 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, they should follow government advice, stay at home and seek a COVID-19 nose/throat swab test. If positive, patients should self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms. Other members of their household should isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test. If patients have symptoms of COVID-19 (as above) and are due to come to the hospital (for an immunoglobulin infusion or other reason) then they should not attend. Please contact the hospital for consideration of rescheduling their appointment.

UK PIN produces expert guidance on patients with immunodeficiency in relation to COVID-19. The British Association of Dermatologists has produced guidance for patients on immunosuppressive medications, as to who is more at risk from COVID-19. 

 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.

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 (wear a face covering, remember hands, face, space and cut down on interactions with other people). The COV-AD study is a research study that is aiming at answering how effective COVID-19 vaccines are in an immunocompromised patient group- please contact the department on the phone numbers above if you would be interested in participating. A COVID-19 booster programme is likely going to be offered to clinically extremely vulnerable and immunosuppressed adults, starting from September.  

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.

 

Page updated 07/09/2021