The NCL teledermatology pathway for routine dermatology referrals allows GPs to refer patients directly to a preferred provider with a digital image/s of the rash or lesion, taken with a dermoscope. This allows consultants to diagnose dermatological conditions virtually and either send a management plan back to primary care, fast track the patient if appropriate, or organise a face-to-face outpatient appointment, including options of direct to biopsy clinic etc.
The pathway helps to ensure that face-to-face dermatology consultations in secondary care are only offered to those patients that need to be seen, which reduces the number of patients who need to attend a hospital appointment, therefore minimising the risk to patients and staff during Covid-19.
The service aims to:
- improve the patient experience by providing care closer to home where appropriate
- reduce numbers of unnecessary referrals to secondary care, increase secondary care face-to-face appointment capacity and reduce waiting times for first outpatient appointments (FOPA)
- enhance dermatology knowledge in primary care.
NCL has developed and agreed a teledermatology as a Locally Commissioned Service (LCS). As part of the LCS practices will be paid £17 per accepted referral, which is accompanied by the appropriate image(s), as a recognition of the increased workload on primary care.