Immunology

The Immunology service at St Helier Hospital provides a comprehensive clinical and diagnostic service for our hospitals, a number of local and distant hospitals, local GPs and other healthcare providers. The Allergy services at St George's Hospital in Tooting and the Immunology clinic at Kingston Hospital are also co-ordinated by our consultants. 

Clinical immunology services

Three consultant immunologists run allergy clinics for the diagnosis and management of many allergic conditions in children and adults. This includes drug allergy clinics, nut allergy clinics, challenge clinics as well as immunotherapy clinics for allergen desensitisation (to aeroallergens and insect venoms).   

We provide a regional service for the investigation and management of primary and secondary Immunodeficiency in adults. Our clinical nurse specialist runs a hospital-based infusion clinic and co-ordinates home therapy for patients requiring immunoglobulin replacement therapy (by intravenous or subcutaneous routes). 

The department also hosts one of 13 national chronic fatigue syndrome centres offering both a clinical service and training for personnel involved in the care of those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). 

Training and teaching 

The department is accredited for both biomedical scientist and clinical scientist training. Consultants provide Immunology teaching for medical students at St Georges University of London and also participate in training of junior doctors and GP trainees. We have full JCRPTB approval for postgraduate training in Immunology.

Research

The main research interests of the department include allergy, immunodeficiency, infertility and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Location and opening hours

The immunology laboratory is located on second floor, D block, St Helier.

Laboratory opening hours: 
Monday - Friday, 9am - 5.30pm and Saturdays, 9am - 12 noon (to process urgent samples, including ANCA and anti-GBM).

Contact details

Tel: 020 8296 2217

Key staff

  • Dr Vasantha Nagendran, Consultant Immunologist
  • Dr Grant Hayman, Consultant Immunologist and Head of Department
  • Marcy Milarionmayieka, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Dr Sai H K Murng, Consultant Immunologist
  • Sree Bhaskaran, Service Manager

For allergy and immunodeficiency appointments/queries:

Tel: 020 8296 4840

Email: immunology-sth@nhs.net 

More information

Immunology laboratory

Laboratory requests

Within the trust, requests should be made using Clinical Manager. Primary care requests are made using the Dart ARES requestor.

Please only send paper-based requests if electronic requesting is not available. If you cannot find the investigation you require please contact the laboratory.

Please ensure that all request forms are completed clearly and fully, including the patient's date of birth, hospital number (where appropriate) and relevant clinical details as the interpretation of certain tests is dependent upon the patient's age and the clinical information provided.

It is important that the details and location of the requesting clinician are clearly stated as failing this can delay the return of results.

Specialised tests are occasionally referred to outside laboratories.  Please request these in the normal way.

Specimen transport

For health and safety reasons, samples for analysis must be transported in sealed plastic bags.

For outlying hospitals and GPs without transport arrangements, samples should be sent by parcel post following Post Office regulations (available on request from the laboratory).

To protect patients and laboratory staff, samples which are incorrectly labelled or packaged will not be processed and the requestor notified.

Read more about transporting diagnostic specimens

Urgent tests

Please call the laboratory to arrange urgent tests. Urgent specimens from outside our hospitals should be sent by taxi and the laboratory informed of their dispatch.

Please ensure that the requests are clearly marked 'urgent' and include a contact bleep or telephone number.

Quality assurance

The laboratory participates in all relevant quality assurance schemes and aims to maintain high standards in all aspects of its work.

If you feel that the service could be improved in any way please let us know.

Any complaints should be directed to the Laboratory service manager (Brian Ford) or  immunology consultants - please make any reservations you may have about the quality of any aspect of the service are known to us as soon as possible, as we take your complaints very seriously.  In particular, let us know of any untoward delay in receipt of reports, discrepancies between results and clinical picture, and any errors in patient or clinician name on the report.

We will aim to answer your concerns within ten working days. 

Clinical advice and interpretation

The clinical staff are happy to discuss individual cases, to provide advice on immunological testing, or to review patients in clinics.

Guidance on interpreting test results

Please find guidance to help you interpret specific test results below.

Guidance for users: Investigation of newly detected M-proteins and management of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

In 2009, the UK myeloma forum (UKMF) and the Nordic Myeloma Study Group (NMSG) produced guidelines for the investigation of newly detected M-proteins and the management of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). 

M-proteins are frequently detected in patients who are under the care of a general practitioner or a non-haematologist.  The objective was to provide guidance to healthcare professionals who may be uncertain how to appropriately manage these patients in primary care.

The guidelines summarised below refer only to those patients defined as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) with a newly detected M-protein.

 

 

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