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Exploring Dermatology Patients' Expectations and Experiences of Dermatology

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Background: Management of dermatology patients has changed with the introduction of Choose & Book, the Closer to Home agenda and reconfiguration of dermatology services to incorporate General Practitioners with a Special Interest (GPwSI). Objective: To assess whether the current configuration works for dermatology patients and meets their expectations. Method: A survey was conducted among patients who attended general out-patient dermatology clinics in a general district hospital. Results: Response rate for the survey was 54/75 (72%). In 52% of cases a choice of referral for further management was given by their usual GP using Choose & Book. A discrepancy existed between what treatment patients expected and how the skin disorder was actually managed: 40% of the total respondents were treated first by their own GP or a GPwSI, even though 64% of the respondents had anticipated being referred directly to a hospital. In this survey patients feel it is more important to see the most qualified clinician than to be seen nearer their home. 61% of responders would prefer to be treated in a hospital setting, rather than at a GPwSI clinic; the latter is preferred by 15% of the respondents. Conclusions: Patients could possibly be better informed about their treatment options and about the role of a GPwSI in dermatology services, through support by their regular GP. Although the sample is biased, since only secondary care patients were surveyed, dermatology patients express a strong preference for hospital-based care, which contradicts the Closer to Home approach applied by policy makers.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Dermatological Nursing is the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the British Dermatological Nursing Group (BDNG) and the UK's only quality dermatological nursing journal. It aims to provide cutting-edge articles on the treatment and management of dermatological conditions and the care of patients with skin problems. While the focus is on dermatological nursing, the information included is relevant to other healthcare professionals.
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