NHSX has said it has just spent nearly £5 million to equip and train staff working in dermatology services to use digital technology and special tools.
Dr Carolyn Charman, the clinical lead for e-referrals secondary care at NHS England, said the move is aimed at improving referrals between primary and secondary care, in line with the Teledermatology Roadmap.
It involves funding for 28 clinical commissioning groups and seven trusts to cover licensing for image sharing applications, dermatoscopes and other equipment, along with training to support quick take-up of the technology.
“Fundamentally, this investment will allow GPs to benefit from easy and quick access to specialist advice and guidance from hospital dermatologists, enabling patients to be referred more quickly and efficiently for treatment and diagnosis,” Charman said.
“It can also support the streamlining of two week wait skin cancer pathways.
“The impact of this investment will be monitored through 2021 to 2022 with regional teams reporting to NHSX on progress.”
She added that the image sharing could also support patient care across other specialities including wound care, diabetes, paediatrics, vascular surgery and plastic surgery.
Image from iStock,Andrey Popov