Dermatology is the diagnosis, investigation, treatment and management of skin conditions and diseases, as well as hair and nail complaints.
We offer dermatology outpatient services at Furness General Hospital, Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Westmorland General Hospital and Ulverston Health Centre.
Services in the department include:
- Phototherapy – ultra violet light treatment for many conditions including psoriasis and eczema
- Photodynamic therapy – non surgical treatment for pre-cancerous and low risk skin cancers
- Minor surgery – nurses carry out diagnostic tests and curative procedures for all types of skin lesions and conditions
- Biologics – drugs that target specific parts of the immune system to help control psoriasis, which has been life changing for some patients
- Prescribing clinics for acnes, eczema and psoriasis as well as other skin conditions
- Dedicated skin cancer follow up clinics for diagnosis, treatment options and ongoing support.
Your GP has referred you to our Image Capture clinic, which are based at our hospital sites, Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Furness General Hospital. This is run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Skin Analytics who will support us in the urgent assessment of your skin lesion, using a unique medical device called DERM.
DERM uses photographic images to recognise skin cancer and common harmless skin conditions and will assist in directing you to the most appropriate management and safest treatment possible
What happens next?
Shortly after you have seen your GP, you will receive a call from the Community Patient Contact Centre (CPCC) to arrange a date and time to be seen at the skin image capture clinic; the appointment will be within 7 days of the date of referral by your GP.
You will receive a text message, containing a link to a short online questionnaire that we ask you to complete before attending the clinic. You will be asked to confirm your details: name, date of birth and hospital / NHS number for identification purposes and then you will be asked some questions regarding your medical history.
You will be asked for your consent to have photographs taken of your skin lesion to be used in your clinical care. Refusal of consent will result in you needing to be reviewed on an alternate pathway.
Separately, you will asked if you consent to your photographs being used for research and teaching purposes.
You can withdraw your consent for research and teaching purposes at any time by contacting the Royal Lancaster Infirmary Dermatology Department. Consent for photographs to be used for your clinical care cannot be withdrawn as your photograph forms part of your medical record. The process outlined above will take around 15 minutes.
Completing the questionnaire before your appointment will assist us in helping more patients but, if you do not have a device to access the internet or if for some other reason you cannot complete this information before your appointment at the clinic, please do not worry as you will be able to complete this when you attend your appointment. We may call you prior to the appointment to run through this over the telephone.
You can contact the department on 01524 551640 or the booking team on 01524 511966.
What happens at my Image Capture clinic appointment?
At your appointment the Clinical Support Worker will review the medical questionnaire with you, ask some questions specific to the skin lesion, and take photos of your skin lesion. You may be asked to remove some clothing, make-up, or jewellery to gain a better view of the skin lesion. If you are required to remove clothing to show a sensitive area of your body, you may request a chaperone. This whole process will take approximately 25 minutes.
The photos will be taken by a camera phone, which uses an artificial intelligence computer programme developed by Skin Analytics, to analyse your skin lesion. Close up and general photos will be taken of the skin lesion, as well as a “dermoscopic” image, where a dermatoscope is attached to the camera phone and placed onto the skin.
These photos will be encrypted and securely transferred so they can be immediately analysed by DERM.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary
Postcode: LA1 4RP
Furness General Hospital
Postcode: LA14 4LF
What happens after my appointment?
Your photos and questionnaire will be reviewed remotely by Skin Analytics and/or one of our Dermatologists and you will be directed to the right service for you: this may be Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, Ear Nose and Throat or Maxillofacial.
- You may be offered a Two Week Rule appointment - these are for patients who we think need to be seen quickly as there is a risk of cancer.
- You may be offered a routine or urgent appointment - these are for patients who we do not think have cancer but who still need an appointment.
- You may be discharged back to your GP if your skin lesion is not concerning (non-cancerous). No appointment is needed.
- Occasionally photos are not interpretable. If this is the case, we will arrange for an urgent face to face appointment in Dermatology.
You should receive a letter communicating these outcomes within 2 weeks of your first clinic appointment. If, for any reason, you are not contacted after two weeks please call the Skin Navigator on 01524 583165.
How we use your data
To process your assessment, Skin Analytics securely store your medical history data and images, together with standard identification information necessary for the safe and accurate filing of the assessment report (your name, date of birth and NHS number).
The assessment report will be available for use to support any further care you may need.
The assessment report will also be sent to your GP practice to be included in your medical records.
The assessment may be reviewed for quality assurance purposes by Skin Analytics or other authorised bodies. This data may include information collected during the assessment and any subsequent diagnoses relating to the lesions assessed.