"Just as cheerful and welcoming as last time"

About: Bromley Healthcare / Community Dermatology (Bromley)

(as the patient),

I had a follow up appointment in June 2015 with dermatology Orpington in an office in Tesco's car park, Orpington. The venue seemed to be a very good use of NHS resources saving money on expensive office space or building costs.

It was a pleasure to see Dr Anna Malone again. She was just as cheerful and welcoming as last time but after the welcome it was straight to business. She quickly inspected the ink spot on my back, told me there was nothing to worry about in the photo she took last time and that there was no change. Then we moved on to the solar keratosis on my scalp. The liquid nitrogen treatment which she gave me last time had not worked. Sometimes it does not. She quickly and lucidly explained the alternatives: a repeat treatment, a cream, or the option of having it scraped off. She explained that the latter would almost certainly mean it would not recur and that the sample would 'go under the microscope' just in case. I immediately chose the latter since it seemed by far the best solution. She told me there might be a slight scar but that was of no concern to me, and my suspicion is it will not scar as she was so competent in the procedure.

And so to the 'operating table'. A flat surface to lie on while Dr Malone scraped the keratosis off my scalp after a small anaesthetic injection. She cauterised as she scraped and it was all over in seconds. There was no pain or discomfort. Afterwards Dr Malone took me through a wound care information sheet, again very quickly but with sufficient time to ensure I had understood. She will be writing to me in two months time with the results of the analysis of the scraped skin. I anticipate she will discharge me from her clinic at the same time.

Dr Malone had been ably assisted by a nurse who had just suddenly appeared when the choice of scraping had been made and prepared the injection and scalpel. The receptionists were also very pleasant.

I would like to thank Dr Malone and her team. I will be recommending Dr Malone to all my family and friends and GP, which will possibly mean she might be very much in demand. The only way forward then would be involving her in training and managing other dermatologists but then, most likely, she does this already.

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Response from Amanda Mayo, Head of Integrated Care - Bromley ICN, Operations Directorate, Bromley Healthcare

picture of Amanda Mayo

Your posting is articulate and thorough! Thank you and hopefully others who are more nervous about seeing a Dermatologist (in a Carpark!!) are reassured.

Bringing health closer to the client is what we should always be aiming for when practical of course!

I will ensure that Dr Malone sees your posting

Have a lovely weekend

Kind regards


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Update posted by Great Appreciation (the patient)

Thank you for this response Amanda

I did have a lovely weekend. After a relaxing swim on Friday evening I watched Not the Nine O'Clock News, as I love comedy as a way of raising the spirit. Another swim on Saturday and then Noel Cowards's play at the Duke of York with Felicity Kendal. It was hilarious from start to finish.

I mention this not as an irrelevant detail about my weekend but because I have some experience of the very positive effects of comedy. I took part in Dr Kim Wright's doctorate at the Institute of Psychiatry (now a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Exeter) where she measured my mood, showed me clips from Only Fools and Horses and Keeping up Appearances and then measured my mood afterwards. Although the results should be obvious they had a far more positive effect than predicted.

I recommend a good dose of comedy to all your patients and especially your nurses who work so hard under stressful conditions.

Obviously there were lots of chores as well but I did find time in the garden.

I hope you had a lovely weekend as well