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Teledermatology service in Bristol and North Somerset

Bristol Dermatology provide a Teledermatology service to 80 GP practices in Bristol and North Somerset. This is done through a team of four local dermatologists who provide a turnaround time of 24-72 hours for each case. The GP and their team take a history and photographs of the skin problem and send them through a secure online system to the hospital. These are then reviewed and the consultant provides advice on the management and diagnosis of the person's skin problem.

Between 2012 and 2016 we have provided between 1200 and 1500  teledermatology consultations annually. Between 75 and 80% of consultations provide guidance on how to care for the patient in the community, usually within the GP practice. The remaining 20-25% need hospital referral and sometimes this is through the oncall system to ensure urgent assessment. The main service provided is to:

  • give helpful patient management advice so that people can be managed more effectively for  a range of skin problems by their own GP

  • provide education and guidance to GPs, so that they can use the episode to use online educational tools where relevant and include details in their appraisal education report

  • the service is not a substitute for the 2WW system of referral, but where a further comment is needed on a probably benign lesion, it can be done through teledermatology. A good history, high quality images and dermoscopic views are required for such assessments.

  • 3% of the enquiries illustrate people with severe or complex problems where more urgent help might be needed through the hospital and the teledermatology service can highlight these people and provide advice as to where they should be seen

Continuing education through Teledermatology

We provide regular update sessions for GPs and their teams on how to get the most out of the Teledermatology service. Tips on histories, taking useful and high quality photographs and reviewing examples that help GPs manage their patients better. Each teledermatology episode can be incorporated into a self-education package coupled with links and feedback from the consultant dermatologist.

We work with the IT company Rego Vantage who provide the web browser platform. All clinical expertise is provided locally from Bristol Dermatologists. Rego provide their own materials on the platform:

Better photos get better responses

Please look at the phototips and share it with colleagues in your practice. Poor quality photos make it very difficult to provide quality teledermatology comment. photo tips

If you are a GP using the system and need technical advice on using Teledermatology you can:

  • phone the IT helpdesk at 0207 993 5870 provided by our IT suppliers, Rego
  • if you are trying to follow up some clinical advice given on a particular consultation, please phone the consultant signing the report:

Dr David de Berker and Dr Kat Nightingale
Tel no: 0117 342 3419

Dr Jane Sansom
Tel no: 0117 342 2770

Dr Debbie Shipley
Tel no: 0117 342 4088

Dr Pawel Bogucki
Tel no: 0117 342 2520

Dr Genevieve Osborne
Tel no: 0117 342 2520

Dr Vicki Lewis
Tel no: 0117 342 3270

 Consultant notes