"Wrong diagnosis"

About: Royal Free Hospital

Overall the appointment went smoothly and I was ok with the friendliness of staff, cleanliness, etc. However I was quite disappointed by the short time the doctor dedicated to me: rushed in, completed a full body examination and told me the diagnosis in no more than 5 minutes! My GP told that they would have looked at the suspect mole on my forehead with special magnifying tools, but as far as I know the dermatologist used exactly the same lens that my GP had used. I was told that it was a dysplastic nevus but that there was nothing to worry about. I was happy with that but wanted to know if it was possible to get rid of it, because it was right in the middle of my forehead. The dermatologist said it was not possible. After some time I went on holiday to my home country and managed to see a dermatologist there. They did have some special magnifying lenses and a computer screen connected to it! To my surprise they told me that this was not a nevus at all! It was a seborrheic keratosis which they easily removed there and then. The scar healed perfectly and I now have my forehead free from ugly spots. I don't know if dysplastic nevi and seborrheic keratosis are so similar that they cannot be told apart, but I would have expected a NHS dermatologist to be able to tell the difference. I'm guessing this was due to the rush, and maybe the lack of instrumentation. This is not fair for us patients. This time I was lucky because either way there was nothing serious, but what if the dermatologist got the wrong diagnosis on something more serious?

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Response from Royal Free Hospital

Thanks for your feedback and apologies that you were unhappy with your treatment here. We will pass your comments on to the dermatology department and we would like to look into this further. If you could email the above plus further details to rf.communications@nhs.net we would be very grateful. Thank you.

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