The initiative is the brainchild of consultant dermatologist Richard Meyrick Thomas and gives GP registrars additional practical knowledge about a range of skin conditions while they are doing the one-year general practice part of their training. The extra training enables them to improve their own diagnostic skills and provide information to other colleagues and patients within their own GP surgeries.
Dr Richard Meyrick Thomas said: " Although newly qualified GPs will have the latest ideas and knowledge fresh from their teaching, it still takes time to build up a large wealth of experience. Dermatology can be a highly specialised area with many more patients now seeking medical advice and help for minor and potentially much more serious conditions. Yet many conditions can be diagnosed and treated within the surgery without specialist input. The key is giving GPs the knowledge and confidence to know when to refer."
So far the specialist dermatologist has run 11 clinics with up to 10 GP registrars present in the clinic. Patients are chosen by the GP registrars as those that they would normally be looking to refer to a specialist. The patient is asked prior to the referral whether they are happy to be part of a teaching clinic at Salisbury District Hospital and they join their GP registrar with others and the dermatologist at the clinic.
Dr Meyrick Thomas said: " We asked patients what they thought of the clinic visit by questionnaire and all those that completed the questionnaire have given positive feedback. The GPs themselves have found the sessions very useful, enabling them to increase their knowledge of dermatology conditions and have more confidence in their diagnosis of skin conditions."
Dr Meyrick Thomas added: "At the end of the first year we carried out a thorough audit and the GP registrars have recorded increased confidence and understanding in diagnosing and treating skin rashes." Ends
For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.Tel: 01722 425170