"Dermatology appointment"

About: Heavitree Hospital / Dermatology

(as the patient),

I have a mole on my back that was raised and itchy so I went to get it checked out. My GP sent me to a dermatologist to be on the safe side (all was well in the end). I received my appointment promptly and was given an appointment at the RD&E Heavitree. I was really pleased to be seen on time and was out of the hospital in 10 minutes which was great. The doctor was quite brusque and didn't introduce himself but wasn't rude and I was happy with the way I was dealt with. The main reason I wanted to feedback was to say that it was a bit of a shock that I had to strip to my underwear and have an all over body exam. I would have felt more comfortable had I known in advance and thought I'd suggest that you put it in the appointment letter for future patients.

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Response from Peter Brain, Volunteer, Healthwatch Devon

Dear 'anappleaday'

The comments and responses on the web-site of Patient Opinion are shared with us at Healthwatch.

This experience you describe was satisfactory, as you say, given the pressure that all the staff are under. It is good that you have posted this suggested modification in the procedure and text of the letter.

More generally we are building a picture of the provision of services in Devon and these comments will help the NHS and other providers develop and improve their services.

If you wish to discuss any health or social care issues with us in confidence, including seeking advice or information about services, please call 0800 520 0640, or email info@healthwatchdevon.co.uk or go on-line to www.healthwatchdevon.co.uk.

Yours sincerely

Peter Brain


Healthwatch Devon is the consumer champion for Health and Social Care in Devon.

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Response from Rebecca McGuffog, Patient Engagement and Experience Officer, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for your compliments with regard to your Dermatology appointment.

We are sorry to hear that you were unprepared for the examination that was carried out. We very much like to give our patients the opportunity for us to explore any other mole or lesion that are out of sight. Our experience shows that the presenting mole may not always be the mole that needs our attention, and as such we do prefer to carry out a more comprehensive check of any moles present elsewhere on the body to ensure a complete review has been undertaken.

We have taken your comments into account and, although some of our letters do include the information that a full examination may be required, we will consider a review of all letters in order to fully prepare patients for what may be asked of them during their appointment.

Thank you for your feedback which has prompted us to review these letters and the communication with our patients.

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