The facial skin lesions “see and treat” clinic: a prospective study
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Facial lesions are commonly referred to ear, nose and throat surgeons. Almost all are amenable to excision under local anaesthetic as a day case. However, in the UK, there is still a significant delay between referral by the general practitioner (GP) and final surgery. To address this delay, a one stop see and treat consultant led clinic was set up in the community. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the one stop clinic on waiting times and to ascertain the satisfaction of patients with the treatment they received in this clinic. Patients with facial skin lesions were referred by the GPs to the ENT department in the usual manner. The referral letters were screened by two consultants, the appointments were booked by telephone and the patients were seen and treated in a single visit. The clinics were held in a minor surgery unit of a centrally located GP practice. Patients were seen, assessed and if the facial lesion was considered amenable to excision under local anaesthetic, the patient was consented and the procedures carried out immediately. The clinic was audited over a 1 year period. Waiting times were compared before and after the start of the project. Patients were asked to fill in a questionnaire immediately after surgery. The attendance rate was 96%. The waiting time was reduced from 121 to 47 days. Patients rated the clinic experience as excellent (88%) or good (12%) indicating a very high satisfaction rate. During the study period, 160 lesions were excised of which 22% were malignant. Patients with malignant lesions did not show any sign of recurrence at a follow up of 9 months, except in one case with basal cell carcinoma. This was operated on and removed completely. Our project shows that the aims of reducing waiting times and improving patient care were achieved with this community model of a one stop facial lesions clinic. This clinic is now an integral part of the service provided by the ear, nose and throat department at Ipswich hospital, UK.
KeywordsSkin lesions Face Waiting time Basal cell carcinoma
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