Intended for healthcare professionals

Dermatology Digital and Technology Solutions for the Treatment of Skin Conditions during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Following the national lockdown in March 2020, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital (Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), had to fnd a remote solution for patients referred with suspected skin cancer. These patients experienced considerable anxiety, which was compounded by worry about infection risk. The answer had to align with government guidance for two week wait (2WW) cancer pathways, be clinically safe and not introduce delays in patient management. The result was a novel, digitised end-to-end web-based teledermatology solution, using the Pathpoint eDerma platform. Despite losing staf through redeployment, shielding and lack of locum doctors from abroad, the 2WW pathway continued, with high levels of patient and clinician satisfaction. A total of 43% of 2WW referrals were assess though eDerma using only two staf members, with excellent outcomes and high levels of patient satisfaction. Face-to-face (FTF) consultations were provided for 57% of referrals, plus urgent cancer treatments, with strict infection control measures. For the frst three quarters of the fnancial year 2020/21, the service was underspent on stafng costs by £184,000. Without eDerma, the service would have had severely restricted capacity for non-cancer pathways.

Dermatology in practice 2021; 27(4): 94–94
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