Centre of Excellence award for BHP Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Centre

The Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology centre in Birmingham is officially world class after achieving prestigious international recognition.

The West Midlands Allergy and Immunology service at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Foundation Trust – in partnership with the Regional Severe Asthma Service, the Occupational Asthma Service and the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy and School of Pharmacy at the University of Birmingham – has been designated as a World Allergy Organisation (WAO) Centre of Excellence.

The honour is a result of a successful bid on behalf of Birmingham Health Partners, which was led by UHB Consultant and Professor Mamidipudi Thirumala Krishna and involved a rigorous vetting process which covered all aspects including clinical service, research, education and training, and advocacy.

Professor Krishna said: “This recognition means we have met a benchmark as a world class centre when it comes to clinical services, undergraduate and postgraduate education and training, or whether it is to do with research or how we work well collaboratively in the country and with countries outside UK.”

The award also opens up doors for the future development of services.

Professor David Adams, Director of Birmingham Health Partners, added: “This impactful joint initiative across two founding members of BHP is an example of the mutual benefits of being part of a cluster of leading health and life sciences organisations.

“Thanks to our long-established history of collaborative working, we can enable research findings to be quickly adopted into clinical practice and that’s precisely what the West Midlands Allergy and Immunology Centre has rightly been recognised for through this award.”

Head of the Allergy and Immunology service at UHB Dr Aarnoud Huissoon said: “It’s a great way to crown our 50th anniversary as an NHS service.

“I am so pleased for our team and our patients that the excellent clinical work and research that has been built up in Birmingham over the past 50 years had been recognised by the World Allergy Organisation.

“Such research is increasingly taking a global perspective, and the endorsement of a prestigious global organisation such as the WAO is real honour.”

Professor David Wraith, Director of the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy at the University of Birmingham, said: “Building on a 50-year history of world-leading research in immunology and an outstanding clinical research infrastructure in Birmingham, the Centre of Excellence in Allergy, led by Professor Krishna, creates the foundation for ever stronger collaboration and success in both fundamental research and delivery of novel approaches for control and treatment of allergies.”

Professor John Marriott, Head of the Pharmacy School and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, said “the Centre of Excellence in Allergy, brought together through the vision of Professor Krishna, is an excellent initiative involving close collaboration between clinicians, bench scientists and data researchers who are working  together to provide solutions to clinical issues of global significance”.

Professor Adel Mansur leads the Regional Severe Asthma Service and Dr Gareth Walters leads the Occupational Asthma Service.

Prof Mansur said: “We are delighted and honoured to be part of this prestigious award of World Allergy Organisation (WAO) centre of excellence.  This is culmination of ambition, drive and tireless work of all members of each of our teams underpinned by close partnership and shared common vision.”

Dr Gareth Walters, Clinical Lead, Regional NHS Occupational Lung Disease Service, Birmingham Chest Clinic, said:  “As part of the team from Birmingham, UK, we are very proud to be awarded the status of a WAO Centre of Excellence. It is a real pleasure to share this honour with colleagues who demonstrate excellence in clinical practice, research and education. We look forward to collaborating closely on future projects.”