Patients in Bristol with skin problems are benefitting from a new system allowing GPs to upload images and share them with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.
The images from the GP are made available to the dermatology department at Bristol Royal Infirmary to review, respond and provide guidance. The trust said the process on average takes up to 36 hours.
More than 70% of patients using this system are now seen and managed in their own GP practice without a hospital visit.
UH Bristol’s new five year vision for 2025, ‘Embracing Change, Proud to Care’, highlights how it plans to grow teledermatology as a way of supporting care closer to home.
David de Berker, a consultant dermatologist at UH Bristol said “We have been developing our teledermatology service for nearly 10 years and it has now become a central part of our way of delivering care to patients.”
“It relies on close collaboration with GPs who are a key part in caring for patients with skin disease, saving patient waits, travel and enabling those without local hospital services to access consultant opinions.”
GP Tony Wright, Polden Medical Practice in Somerset, said “The teledermatology service is an essential part of dermatology at Polden Medical Practice.”
“For patients, there are a number of benefits including that they can get an opinion without having to travel a long journey to hospital. The service at UH Bristol is excellent and provides a quick response, meaning patients can have an appointment close to home with their GP.”
“From a doctor’s perspective it’s also a really valuable service, which is really reassuring and helps GPs to gain education about dermatology from the specialists in Bristol.”