North London Partners in health and care

GPs pilot teledermatology service

GPs pilot teledermatology service to speed up diagnosis and improve patient outcomes

More than 30 GP practices  in Barnet, Camden, Haringey and Islington are working with the Whittington, Royal Free and University College Hospital London (UCHL) hospitals to pilot a new teledermatology service for north central London (NCL) residents.

The aim of the pilot, which started in January and runs until June 2019, is to it make it easier and quicker to diagnose certain skin conditions, reduce unnecessary referrals to hospital outpatient clinics and improve the patient experience by using smart technology and virtual clinics.

GPs will use a specialised piece of equipment, called a dermatoscope, to take pictures of skin conditions. These will be sent via a secure network to a consultant dermatologist who will advise the GP on a treatment plan or refer the patient for further investigation. The service is available to patients aged over 16 years.

The pilot is led by Camden CCG supported by North London Partners.

GPs taking part in the pilot have received comprehensive training on using the system and a detailed teledermatology handbook has been developed to provide additional support.

Initial feedback from GPs that attended a training session was positive. One said: “It is amazing how clear the images are that we can take, I am excited to start using this service. If it is easy to use it will make a big difference and the patients will be happy.”

For more information contact Lisa Savage lisa.savage2@nhs.net.