Teledermatology is the use of a special high-quality camera to take photographs of your skin problem. Your photographs will be reviewed by a consultant dermatologist (a doctor specialising in the study and treatment of skin conditions) and advice about how to treat your skin condition will be sent to your GP. Alternatively, if the specialist recommends you are seen face-to-face in a clinic that advice will be given to your GP who will then make a referral to a clinic in the usual way.
Who can be referred?
Patients living within the area served by Cambridge and Peterborough IBC who have been seen by their GP following concerns about a skin problem, and who are considered suitable for the service, can be referred to the Teledermatology service.
What are the benefits of this service?
You may come to find out the cause of your skin concern sooner than an NHS hospital appointment
Your GP will be given advice about treatment, so you can receive treatment sooner and closer to home
Alternatively, if the specialist recommends a face-to-face clinic consultation, then the GP will make a referral sooner than waiting for an NHS appointment
What happens at the appointment?
Our specially trained Teledermatology staff will explain what they are going to do, which includes obtaining your consent and taking the relevant photographs of your skin. These photographs will be transferred electronically to a consultant dermatologist at our hospital, along with the referral letter from your GP. This is done through a secure IT network.
Are all skin conditions suitable for the Teledermatology service?
This service is not suitable for all skin conditions and if any of the following exclusions apply to you, please contact The Hamptons Hospital as soon as possible:
Your lesion is on the genitals
Your lesion is open and needs a dressing by a medical professional
Your GP has referred you for more than two lesions
What happens after my appointment?
The consultant dermatologist will carefully review your photographs and referral details. They will be able to decide on the best course of action, in a similar way as if you had been seen in the hospital clinic.
For many patients, they will be able to diagnose your problem and send your GP a plan for looking after your condition.
Sometimes, the consultant may decide that you do need to be seen in person or that you need a biopsy (a small piece of skin is taken and sent to a laboratory for diagnosis). If this is the case, we will be able to book you in to see the consultant here at the Hamptons hospital or your GP will be informed and asked to make a referral in the clinic in the usual way. If you need to be seen quickly, the doctor will arrange for this to take place and you will be contacted with further information.
Who provides the service?
This service is delivered by The Hamptons Hospital dermatology department which has been commissioned by the Cambridge and Peterborough Integrated Care Board to provide this service.
Q. Does the consultant dermatologist have to see my skin problem in person in order to identify what is wrong?
A. No. The photographs are usually of a good enough quality to make a diagnosis. However, if the consultant has any uncertainty about the diagnosis, they will ask to see you in a face to face consultation.
Q. Do I need to do anything after my appointment?
A. No, either we or your GP will inform you what you need to do after the Teledermatology report has been received.
Possible outcomes include:
Often patients do not need to be seen in hospital, and can be managed by their GP. The specialist’s report will provide a suitable management plan for you.
It could be that there is no further action needed and in which case you only need to go back and see your GP if you are worried about your skin problem.
If you need to be seen face-to-face by a specialist, either the consultant or your GP will make a referral for a clinic appointment in the usual way.
Q. Is this a safe service?
A. Yes, this service is safe. It is already provided in many areas of the country and is an excellent way of helping patients be seen more quickly than at present without losing any quality in the care received.