Respiratory Care

Level 4C

  • Telephone: 01273 696955 Extension 3127
  • Fax: 01273 523141
  • Consultants: Professor Paul Seddon, Professor Somnath Mukhopadhyay
  • Senior Respiratory Nurse Specialist: Edwina Wooler
  • Cystic Fibrosis and Respiratory Nurse Specialists: Jason Lenton and Cathy Warde
  • Respiratory Research Nurse: Cathy Olden

To make, change or cancel an appointment please contact: 0300 303 8360

The Department of Respiratory Care is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. It offers expertise in the diagnosis, care and ongoing management of a diverse range of childhood respiratory diseases and allergies. The team of specialist nurses trained in respiratory care is led by a consultant paediatrician who specialises in respiratory disease.

Our department’s comprehensive diagnostic resources include a body plethysmograph, exercise testing equipment and facilities for allergy testing. Many of the diagnostic tests performed here are not widely available in the South East.

We carry out the following investigations and activities:
  • Lung function testing for diagnostic, clinical and research purposes
  • Exercise testing
  • Counselling of children and families who require privacy
  • Analysis of overnight sleep study data
  • Coordination of home nebuliser service
  • Coordination of support for home non-invasive ventilation
  • Multidisciplinary meetings for patient management and research
  • Maintenance of patient databases
  • Telephone advice to parents and healthcare professionals.

The nursing team runs weekly asthma outpatient clinics, with patients referred from GPs, practice nurses, school nurses and health visitors. Children are also referred for follow up care after having been in hospital with an acute exacerbation of asthma. When it was set up, this was the first such nurse led clinic in the country.

Children admitted to the Medical Ward with respiratory illnesses will be assessed and advised by the respiratory nursing team. The team specialises in advising parents about the home management of asthma, including medication and improving the immediate environment. The nurses also work closely with the smoking cessation service.

The nursing team holds outpatient clinics in conjunction with medical staff to provide a comprehensive allergy service including skin prick testing and Epipen training, full respiratory review and liaison with other health care professionals.

We also work with the Department of Adult Respiratory Medicine to offer young people transitional care to adult services through a jointly run clinic.

The Cystic Fibrosis nurse specialists visit families in the community to provide support and advice, through from diagnosis to transfer onto the adult care services. This includes working within nurseries and schools. They have close working relationships with the physiotherapists, dieticians, paediatric pharmacists and adult respiratory team.

Paediatric Allergy Service

The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital now offers a private allergy service which is run by consultant pediatricians with an interest in allergy and asthma, paediatric nurse specialists and a paediatric dietician.
We aim to offer a one stop service where children can be seen and assessed all within the same appointment.
Please find below a list of the available services
• Full history taking and assessment.
This is undertaken by the consultant paediatrician with allergy and respiratory experience and will fully explore the background to the child’s presenting symptoms including feeding, dietary and respiratory history. Following this a decision will be made about whether skin prick tests or other investigations are indicated.
• Skin prick tests.
The nurse specialist can test for a wide range of allergens including aeroallergens, common foods and latex.
Specific ‘prick to prick’ tests can be undertaken for more unusual allergens if this is indicated after history taking.
Skin prick tests are not offered to children simply because there is a history of allergy in the family.
• Anaphylaxis management.
Where there is a history of anaphylaxis or clinical features that make anaphylaxis more likely parents will be taught how to identify symptoms and what action should be taken. Multimedia training is given using websites, videos and factsheets to support parents understanding.
An individualised anaphylaxis management plan will be supplied to the parents at the clinic.
• Adrenaline auto-injector training.
A full range of training devices are available to demonstrate to parents how to administer adrenaline to their child during an episode of anaphylaxis.
• Lung function testing
Some children may have co-existing respiratory symptoms and lung function and reversibility tests can be offered as part of the allergy clinic appointment.
• Dietetic advice on food avoidance, weaning and reintroduction of food.
The dietitian will support families in providing practical guidance on food allergen avoidance and will give tailored dietary advice to ensure a healthy balanced diet.
Advice is given on food labelling and shopping, recipes, eating out and avoiding cross-contamination.
For children excluding multiple foods, the dietitian can analyse a child’s diet to ensure it is nutritionally adequate for health and growth.
Where appropriate, the dietitian can offer advice on re-introduction of food allergens and allergy prevention.
Dietary advice is supported by comprehensive literature, which includes useful supporting websites.
Charges for this service are as follows – for 2018
Children under 5s = £410
Over 5s = £500
These charges are all inclusive of all professional fees
Katie Clark is a Senior Paediatric Dietician. Katie has completed the “Practical Paediatric Allergy Course” run by the Allergy team at St Guy’s and St Thomas and King’s College London. She regularly attends the Allergy Academy Study days and is a keen contributor to the local Surrey and Sussex Paediatric Allergy Group. She has taken part in research and recruited for a research project in milk allergy.
Katie has a huge experience in the practical aspects of dietary management of allergy. She is keen to learn the most up to date research on food allergy and translate this into practical guidance for the families she sees. Katie is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (Registration Number DT06064). She is a member of the British Dietetic Association and British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Edwina Wooler is senior paediatric respiratory nurse specialist at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton managing a small team of asthma and cystic fibrosis nurse specialists and working closely with the research nursing team. She is paediatric trainer for Education for Health and has worked as clinical lead at Asthma UK. More recently she has worked for NHS England at the South Coast Strategic Clinical Network looking at transition of young people with long term conditions to adult care. Her daily work involves reviewing children admitted to hospital with asthma and running a nurse led out patient service. Other areas of expertise are allergy and anaphylaxis management and teaching
Consultant’s information

Somnath Mukhopadhyay

Somnath Mukhopadhyay is Professor of Paediatrics at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. His clinical expertise lies in the area of asthma, allergy and respiratory disease.
He is also clinical lead for research teams making genetic discoveries in asthma and allergy that are currently being tested in clinical trials. These approaches could bring a more personalised approach to the treatment of allergies and asthma in children.


MBBS (India), MD (Bristol), PhD (Dundee), FRCPCH (UK), DCH (UK)

Akshat Kapur

Akshat Kapur is Paediatric Allergy & Respiratory consultant last 3 years in Royal Alex and also do some general core Paediatrics. Having worked in Delhi, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and Vancouver since 2001, he has a wealth of clinical experience in different settings. His Vancouver fellowship was vital in augmentation of his skills and knowledge in tertiary respiratory and allergy. Paediatrics and Alex children’s has further helped him provide high quality patient care. Working in a highly multi-disciplinary team has inspired the team to replicate NHS clinics we do in private consultations so patients benefit is paramount’

FRCPC – Fellow of Royal College of paediatrics and Child Health of Canada
MBBS India