The 2007 House of Lord’s Science and Technology committee report on the provision of allergy services identified a significant lack of educational opportunities. There was little available to the many groups of healthcare professionals who were on the front line of delivering care to increasing numbers of patients with allergic disease.
The Asthma, Allergy & Lung Biology Division of the KCL School of Medicine, under the leadership of Prof Tak Lee, had a long history of commitment to Allergy education and in May 2008 founded the Allergy Academy. Partnerships were made with industry to allow the development of a comprehensive range of courses – from large group lecture programmes to small hands-on workshops. A deliberate move was made away from generic courses aimed at increasingly diverse groups of health professionals but instead towards programmes specific to the needs of different groups, who would be involved in every aspect of course development, faculty and evaluation.
Our courses were developed with the practising clinician in mind and our corporate partners have provided us with the support to ensure that cost would not be a barrier to education amongst those who wanted it.
We can now look back and reflect on some of our achievements – delivering education to over 10,000 delegates as well as the many thousands who use our online content, hosting the world’s key opinion leaders at our events and international training fellows from 5 continents.
Most importantly, we need to acknowledge those who have been instrumental in our success – our 5 founding sponsors (ALK-Abello, Danone, Nutricia, Novartis and Thermofisher) as well as our 10 newer sponsors and the many partner organisations who we continue to work with including Great Ormond Street Hospital, Imperial College, Allergy UK, Anaphylaxis Campaign and BMJ Learning.
We would also like to thank all of those at King’s College London, our many course directors, speakers and delegates who continue to make this venture a success.
Dr Adam Fox