- Henry Smith MP shows support for patients with Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU), a distressing skin disease that may affect between 318,000 and 630,000 people in the UK.
- New survey shows that one in four miss work every month, while nine out of ten say their sleep is affected by CSU.
- Over half wait one year to see a specialist.
- CSU is a distressing and severe skin condition which can result in cosmetic disfigurement. It is characterised by severe, chronic itching and hives (or wheals) on the skin which spontaneously occur for more than 6 weeks, with many people suffering for a number of years. CSU is unpredictable and symptoms often re-occur without an obvious stimulus.
Henry Smith, Crawley’s MP, has pledged his support for patients with CSU at a parliamentary event highlighting a new report which demonstrates the significant distress that the disease causes. The Wheals of Despair report encourages the urgent re-evaluation of the current approach towards CSU and highlights the importance of its prioritisation in the minds of healthcare professionals and the NHS.
“The figures in the Wheals of Despair report really are concerning. Experts think that over half a million people could be living with CSU, and many of these people are not getting the support that they need. I’m committed to raising awareness of this illness and to supporting Crawley folk to get the care and attention that they deserve.”
The report is underpinned by the first ever audit of people with CSU in the UK, carried out by the charity Allergy UK and led and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited. The audit survey found that nine out of ten people with the condition report being so significantly affected that they are restricted in fundamental daily activities, such as going to work. Nearly a quarter of people living with CSU are forced to miss work at least once a month as a result of the condition and more than half state that they do not have control over their symptoms. In addition to highlighting strong links to anxiety and social isolation, other key findings showed 90 percent of those surveyed say their sleep is regularly disrupted by the condition, potentially decreasing productivity while at work. Despite the impact of CSU, the survey also reveals that over 50 percent of those with the condition wait more than twelve months for a referral to see a specialist for a diagnosis, adding to the anxiety caused by the discomfort of the symptoms.
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