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New service to provided patients with suspected skin cancer with faster diagnosis and treatment has started at the Newark Hospital





A new service that provides patients who have suspected skin cancer with faster diagnosis and treatment has started at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust.

The service already established at King’s Mill Hospital will now be extended to Newark Hospital and is due to begin today (June 10).

Teledermatology involves an initial appointment, where a series of high-resolutions digital photographs are taken by a clinical photographer.

Newark Hospital, Urgent Treatment Centre
Newark Hospital, Urgent Treatment Centre

The photographs are studied by a consultant dermatologist who can assess them remotely and decide whether a patient needs to come into the hospital or further investigation and treatment or if they can be given assurance that cancer can be ruled out quicker.

Doctor Ritu Singla, consultant dermatologist Sherwood Forest Hospitals, said: “The teledermatology service allows us to triage patients referred by their GP with urgent suspected skin cancer much quicker.

“Reviewing the high-resolution photographs also allows us to reassure patients much quicker when they do not have cancer and patients with a diagnosis of cancer are seen quicker and can start getting their treatment sooner.”

“This new way of working also means we are able to review more patients, sooner which means a faster outcome for the patient”

The patient’s first appointment with the photographs eliminates the sometimes longer wait for a first face to face appointment with a dermatologist.

The photographs appointment is quicker and the remote triage enables dermatologists to review twice as many patients than face to face appointments.

Tina,58, from Sutton in Ashfield, who was one of the first patients to use the Teledermatology service was satisfied with her experience.

She said: “I received a phone call from the hospital just three days after my GP had made the referral and an appointment for a photograph was made that was convenient for me.

“Everything about the process was fully explained to me and the lady I spoke to was very informative and very caring”

In Tina’s case, the photograph was not conclusive but a speedy appointment with the dermatologist followed resulting in a cryotherapy treatment after which she was ready to be discharged.

Teledermo done
Teledermo done

Jane, 70, another patient from Nottinghamshire had an equally smooth experience.

Within a week of being referred by her GP to King’s Mill, with an urgent suspected skin cancer, she had an appointment for photographs where she was taken several photographs with different lenses.

A week later she had an appointment for a pre-cancerous mole to be removed: by-passing the need for a biopsy completely.

From referral to removal taking only two to three weeks.

Having experienced a prolonged wait for referral and treatment on a prior occasion before the teledermatology service was introduced she said to be particularly impressed with the speed of this new way of working which she described as first class.

A wide range of outpatient appointments, operations and procedures are available at Newark Hospital.

Patients are encouraged to Ask for Newark when speaking to their GP or hospital team to see if they could have their treatment at Newark Hospital.



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