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Is the Children’s Allergy Clinic suitable for my child?

Our team at the Spire Southampton Children’s Allergy Clinic is dedicated to providing a professional bespoke service to you and your child. All of our staff are highly experienced and also work in the NHS Children’s Allergy Clinic at Southampton Children’s Hospital, which is internationally accredited as a National Centre of Excellence. If your child has, or you suspect they have, any of the following symptoms or conditions, our team are qualified experts in diagnosing and treating all types of allergy and will help you and your child to manage their allergy at home and at school.

  • Food allergy
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Milk intolerance
  • Asthma
  • Wheezing in infancy
  • Eczema
  • Hay fever / allergic rhinitis
  • Desensitisation immunotherapy for hay fever
  • Milk allergy
  • Egg allergy
  • Peanut allergy
  • Nut allergy
  • Rare and multiple food allergies
  • FPIES food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance

Meet the team

Dr Mich Lajeunesse BSc MBBS DM FRCPCH

Dr Lajeunesse is a Consultant in Paediatric Allergy and Immunology at Southampton Children’s Hospital and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton. He is the lead NHS consultant for the Children’s Allergy Service at Southampton Children’s Hospital. Mich is a member of the teaching faculty of the Allergy MSc course at the University of Southampton and is involved in food allergy research. He also leads the Allergy Management course hosted by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. He is an accredited specialist in Paediatric Immunology, Infectious Diseases and Allergy, a member of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Caz Lajeunesse RSCN RGN PG Dip

Caz is a specialist allergy nurse practitioner and has a Diploma in Advanced Health Care Practice from Oxford Brooks University and is currently undertaking a Masters of Science degree in Allergy at the University of Southampton. She is a member of the Royal College of Nursing, the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the Anaphylaxis Campaign, the National Eczema Society and the Wessex Allergy Network. She runs nurse led paediatric allergy clinics and performs skin prick allergy testing.  

Joan Gavin BSc RD MPhil

Joan is a registered paediatric dietitian with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Masters in Applied Paediatric Nutrition from Southampton University. She also has a Diploma in Child Psychology and significant experience in dealing with babies and children with feeding behaviour problems. Joan is registered with the British Dietetic Association and Health Care Professions Council. She is a member of the British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Food Allergy Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association. She has presented her research nationally and internationally and published in peer reviewed journals. She is also an expert advisor to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.

Do I need a GP referral?

The Children’s Allergy Clinic accepts self funding referrals to see any member of the team individually or as an allergy team consultation.  Alternatively, to use your medical insurance, you will normally require a referral to the clinic from your GP. Please contact your medical insurance company for further advice prior to your consultation.

What can my child expect at their first appointment?

At the first appointment, Dr Lajeunesse will take a detailed allergy focused clinical history and a physical examination of your child which will include a height and weight measurement. To help confirm a diagnosis, he may refer your child for skin prick allergy testing during your appointment to help identify the allergen causing your child’s symptoms. The results of this test will be available within 15 minutes. If a blood test is required, a blood sample may be taken during your appointment but the results will not be available that day. If further tests are required eg X-ray, CT scan, these will be arranged for a mutually convenient date.

Once Dr Lajeunesse has confirmed a diagnosis, he will discuss a treatment plan with you and your child. If food allergies are diagnosed, you will be referred to Joan Gavin for dietary advice on how to avoid the allergen whilst maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet to maintain your child’s growth. A bespoke exclusion dietary plan will be designed to suit your child’s individual food preferences, lifestyle and nutritional needs. Joan is available to see you on the same day as your appointment with Dr Lajeunesse.

An allergy clinic appointment can take approximately 2 hours.

Which tests and treatments are available?

Allergies are caused by over activity of the immune system called hypersensitivity. The immune system is designed to recognise and fight off invading germs, viruses and other micro-organisms. Allergies are caused when the immune system recognises environmental and food triggers instead of germs. Common causes are dust, pet fur, pollens and food. Substances that cause allergy are known as allergens. Allergens are recognised by a particular type of antibody known as Immunoglobulin E (IgE) that can be detected by skin prick testing.

Skin prick tests to allergens are a quick way of establishing your allergies. Caz Lajeunesse, our paediatric allergy nurse specialist, will perform the tests. Drops of allergen solutions will be placed on the inside of your child’s forearm and each one pricked with a small lancet. Children have said it’s like being pressed gently with a sharp pencil. An itchy lump appears at the site of any positive tests. The results are ready within fifteen minutes. We have a complete range of common allergens available for skin prick testing on children from 3 months.

  • Household and pet allergies
  • Seasonal allergies and hay fever
  • Asthma
  • Allergies associated with eczema
  • Suspected food allergy
  • Fruit allergies
  • Children’s allergies
  • Infant allergies – the weaning screen