Mole on a woman's neck being magnified

Innovative skin cancer service leading the way in the North West

An innovative skin cancer service at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has helped clinicians boost output and avoid appointment cancellations.

The trailblazing Teledermatology service has been running since 2021 and, such has been its success, staff have been asked to present at the NHS’s Faster Diagnosis Collaboration Event in February.

The service was initially set up in 2019 as a pilot and involves medical photographers documenting a patient’s suspected skin cancer. Once the images are taken, they are then reviewed by either a lead nurse or a doctor within two days.

This process has allowed the trust to double the amount of patients seen and cut the amount of appointments being cancelled, and, despite the ongoing shortage of dermatologists, the Teledermatology service has allowed the trust to keep within national targets even in the face of ever-increasing demand.

Clifton Hospital’s Dermatology Lead Nurse, Jane Sanderson, is now the first nurse Head of Department at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals. She said: “I’m really proud of the department – without Teledermatology we simply could not have coped with the increased demand on the dermatology service.

“There have been some teething problems along the way, but the team have persevered, and it has been a huge triumph. We are the only Trust in the North West meeting national targets and all the credit must be given to the whole team who are helping ensure the future of our dermatology service.”

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