Visited for diagnosis of child's allergies. Long waiting time for appointment (and at the hospital on the day) and report came back with basic errors which either showed she wasn't listening at the appointment (it felt rushed) or transfer of information to secretary failed. Disappointing.
Our daughter developed eczema and we went to see Dr Helen Cox privately. We had skin prick test done for a few very basic allergens which resulted in no reactions and she concluded her eczema was not food related and prescribed steroids. We were of course reluctant to apply steroids on a small child with not particularly severe eczema and I wanted to find out what the underlying cause is. I kept a food diary for a month and it was clear to me that her eczema is connected to food. We came back asking for various blood tests to understand possible vitamin misbalance, allergens etc. I specifically asked for allergy testing for fruits as I often noticed that my daughter reacted to apples, pears, peaches, also goat milk (I noticed a strong reaction to goat butter), and Vitamin D test. Again, let me underline this - we were paying privately. Dr Cox was very reluctant to do some tests, saying these foods can never cause allergies and she would look silly in front of her colleagues for even prescribing the tests but we insisted and she agreed to do them. Having a blood test done on a 17 months old is heartbreaking as you can imagine and you don't want to do it twice. £2000 and 3 weeks (!!!) later after I prompted it by calling the secretary the tests came back with results for basic general blood test, some basic allergens and various fish allergens we discussed. Pear, peach and apple as well as goat milk and Vitamin D were missing from the test. When i enquired about it - turned out Dr Cox after explicitly agreeing to it took liberty to not include those foods in the test. Vitamin D - she simply forgot. I sent her 3 emails asking to explain other results which were out of normal range but she still has not come back to me. She might be good for some of the patients with severe and obvious allergies but she was unprofessional and untrustworthy with us. She is not curious to get to the bottom of the problem but happy to treat the symptoms - without the consideration for the consequences. We have used our insurance allowance to see her and will now need to pay ourselves for more blood tests and doctors who are more professional and willing to help us understand and treat the problem from the inside.
Dr Helen Cox has transformed the lives and wellbeing of our two children. The first born with profound and multiple food allergies and GORD, which resulted in a profound feeding aversion. She had the knowledge to diagnose and the humility to listen to our family's experience and wishes. She prioritised the case for review every six weeks and listened as much to our story of living with a profoundly allergic child and its implications on our whole family system, as much as she was able to diagnose, treat and review. When our second child was born with similar conditions, she was prompt to diagnose, question, research and re-diagnose when GPs and local Paediatricians were left flailing. Dr Cox is professional, compassionate and wants the same quality of life for the children in her care as you do as a parent. If ever in doubt about the diagnosis, wellbeing and care of children with simple or complex allergies and surrounding complications, seek your referral to Dr Cox at St Mary's Paediatric Allergy Team.