Waiting lists reduced by 50% for dermatology referrals
Vantage Health has announced it has piloted a new teledermatology solution to accelerate the diagnosis of skin lesions and tackle the growing pressures on two week wait (2WW) referrals in East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT).
The technology enables consultant dermatologists to easily triage cases remotely and provide GPs with rapid advice and guidance to help patients get the care they need, while helping to reduce patient anxiety.
Results from the pilot, which ran from the beginning of January through to May, showed that 93% of cases were triaged in one day and 50% of the total number were downgraded to either a routine referral or not requiring hospital treatment at all.
The solution allows 2WW cases referred via the NHS e-Referral Service (eRS) to be triaged by consultant dermatologists, through Rego, the first eRS compatible solution to be deployed in the NHS. Consultants can easily review digital images and patient history alongside the referral to determine if a patient needs to be on the 2WW pathway or if the severity can be reduced to a routine referral.
If a consultant decides the case should be downgraded, an automatic request is sent from Rego to the referring GP asking them to approve the case as a routine referral. If the GP does not provide an approval within seven days, the patient will continue on the 2WW pathway to ensure they receive the treatment they need.
Peter Holloway, GP at Mendlesham Medical Group, Chair, Primary Care Group, East of England Cancer Alliance, commented: “The teledermatology pathway is a great example of the clinical transformation that can be achieved by primary and secondary care working together, and clinical input into the design of the technology. The platform has been well received by GPs, who find it easy to use, and complements current modes of remote consultation. Most importantly, there are considerable benefits to patients in getting an accurate prompt diagnosis, reducing both anxious waits and unnecessary hospital visits.”
David Ezra, Managing Director of Vantage Health, said: “The pilot transforms the way 2WW pathways are managed. Our close partnership with Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and now ESNEFT has enabled us to develop the right processes and safety requirements necessary for the implementation of this solution which could not come at a more critical time. We hope to expand this pilot in ESNEFT and across other Trusts in the area.”