What happens next?
Once the consultant has reviewed the images of your skin you will either be:
- Contacted by the hospital to tell you that the skin lesion is benign (not cancerous) and no further action is needed. This letter may take several days to receive.
- Contacted by the hospital to arrange a further appointment within 2 weeks to see a Consultant Dermatologist.
(This can be for a variety of reasons such as poor image quality so further examination is required.)
- Contacted by the hospital telling you that the skin lesion is benign but that a routine appointment (within 18 weeks) is still needed for the management / removal of the skin lesion.
If you have not been contacted within 5 working days please contact the practice.
Why did I have to give consent?
You have consented to say that you understand and agree to the purpose of taking photographs of your skin, what photographs will be taken, that they will be linked to your NHS number, how they will be used, who will have access to them and how they will be stored.
The GP/nurse practitioner explained they have taken pictures which show the size, shape, pigment and location of your skin lesion. This is so images can be reviewed remotely by a Consultant Dermatologist (skin expert) at a local hospital, County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, within the next two weeks.
This means you can be seen more quickly than if you were given a face to face hospital appointment.
It may also mean that you do not have to attend a further appointment following review.
Does this mean I have cancer?
No – this referral aims to rule out cancer as soon as possible, although there is a possibility of cancer.
Are my pictures stored and processed securely?
Images are stored temporarily on a secure cloud-based platform run by Consultant Connect Limited which is fully compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and NHS information governance standards. Only the images and your NHS number are stored on the cloud. Your name is not used.
The GP will then download the images to your clinical record. The images are then sent electronically via the secure NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) for a Consultant Dermatologist at the hospital to review.
All images are then deleted from the cloud. No images are stored on any mobile device at any point during the process.
Further information can be found at www.consultantconnect.org.uk
The lawful purpose of processing your photographs is for medical diagnosis. (General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 Article 6(I) and Article 9(2)h)
If you need to attend for a hospital appointment
The hospital will write to you with details of your appointment. Please read all letters carefully and follow any instructions that are given. You may want to bring a friend or relative with you to your appointment. Some people find it useful as it can help to recall what was said. You may wish to ask questions at your appointment. It could help to write these down to take with you and make notes whilst you are there.
It is important you are available to attend all appointments.
This means that the wait for yourself and other patients can be kept to a minimum.