The BMJ Awards 2020: Dermatology team of the yearBMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m748 (Published 05 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m748
- Jacqui Wise, freelance journalist
- London, UK
Dermatology integrated care
In common with many dermatology services, the one at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, Wales, was short staffed and poorly resourced. Patients were waiting four months for an urgent appointment and 12 months for a routine appointment. “The service model used for dermatology has been failing for many years,” says Alex Anstey, consultant dermatologist. “We had no additional funding but realised we had to do something different.”
In January 2019 an integrated dermatology service was created. Anstey arranged a series of face-to-face meetings with local general practitioners to explain the new way of working and get them on board.
GPs now routinely send photographs of skin lesions and rashes with their referral letters, allowing patients to be triaged quickly. This also avoids duplicating appointments—for example, some patients can be sent directly to a plastic or maxillofacial surgeon rather than being seen first by a dermatologist and then referred on. A pharmacist also offers a virtual clinic for patients on long term systemic medication, freeing up consultant appointments.
The impact of this new model of care was apparent within weeks. The urgent waiting list has …