New skin clinics ‘will see patients quicker and closer to home’

Members of the James Street Family Practice team, where the first skin clinic was launched.
Members of the James Street Family Practice team, where the first skin clinic was launched.

Patients worried about any changes to their skin can now be seen quicker and closer to home thanks to a new service, which launched in Louth earlier this month.

In the last year, health services in Lincolnshire have been working together to design a non-emergency dermatology service that can provide a better experience for patients.

This saw Lincolnshire clinical commissioning groups, primary care and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust take part in an NHS England 100 day challenge.

After two successful pilot projects, GPs can now refer patients with these changes to community dermatology spot clinics. These will be held every two weeks at a GP surgery and a consultant from ULHT will work alongside local clinical colleagues to review all patients.

The first clinic was held at James Street Family Practice in Louth. ULHT Dermatologist Dr Caroline Angit joined 
Adele Ackroyd, Samantha Mamwell and Sheena Smith from the surgery to review 24 patients during the first clinic.

Dr Angit said: “This is all about working together to see our patients closer to home, rather than them having to come to one of our hospitals. It means we can often see our patients quicker in a location that is much better for them.

“The first clinic has gone really well. The staff at the surgery have been great at welcoming all of the patients, explaining the process and getting them ready so that I can come in, examine their skin and advise on the next course of action. Some patients will always be referred to us at the hospital, but we are hoping that by working with GP surgeries in other areas we can see more and more 
people out in the community.”

Leonard Andrews was among the first patients to see Dr Angit at Louth. He said: “To be honest I would have felt a bit of a fraud going to one of the hospitals as it is just a slight change to a mark on my face. The service was brilliant.

“I was able to pop in, get the reassurance and advice, and I will now pop back to my GP to get my treatment. Fantastic!”

Operational Services Manager Suzanne Sheppard has been helping to get the clinics up and running. She said: “Following the success of previous trials we knew that there was a need to set these clinics up for our patients.

“The feedback we have received already from patients is brilliant and in support of this new service.”