Hywel Dda University Health Board

The Challenge
Over 20% of GP appointments involve dermatological issues and approximately 4 million referrals are made to a specialist each year. Our challenge was to increase the capacity of the dermatology service in Hywel Dda University Health Board in order to deal with referrals in line with NHS targets.

Our Solution

Many skin conditions can be diagnosed remotely by qualified specialists using good photographic images. These can be quickly examined, triaged and diagnosed with a management plan prepared (where appropriate) for several times more patients an hour than by seeing patients in person. Signum Health have developed a secure web based teledermatology service for referral, triage and diagnosis.

The Work

A pilot was agreed by the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative and Hywel Dda University Health Board. Software and training were provided to 7 GP practices who participated in the pilot. This included GP’s, nurses and administrative staff. One camera was purchased for use by each GP surgery.

Written advice and pathway information was also provided. Specialist dermatologists were trained and ongoing support was given to all participants as required.

The Results

97% of cases diagnosed in Primary Care.
Report returned to the GP within 48 hours

High levels of GP satisfaction

A reduction in out-patient appointments

“This excellent service has reduced the need for people to travel long distances to receive specialist care and allowed more patients to be treated in primary care therefore reducing hospital waiting lists.”