"Brilliant Experience Dermatology Department"

About: Burnley General Hospital

I had Malignant Melanoma 9 years ago and all I knew was that it was "superficial stage 2" and that it was a delayed diagnoses as the first consultant had told me it was just an ageing mole.

18 months later that same mole was diagnosed stage 2.

Had it been a more aggressive type of MM, I could have died due to the first misdiagnoses.

With that in mind, any new mole or a mole that changes sends me into a state of anxiety as you can imagine. When a doctor dismisses a mole I present, it reminds me when my malignant mole was "dismissed" and I tend to be very wary of doctors who wave their hand in the air and tell me: "Its nothing to be worried about" .... Easy for them to say.

I recently had a Basel Cell Carcinoma removed from my upper back at Blackburn which I guess triggered the skin cancer anxiety again.

I ended up at the Burnley General following another mole dismissals at Blackburn.

This new scaly scabby mole on my back was itching too so I was quite worked up about it.

I had to make a fuss to get a two week urgent appointment and was referred to Burnley in lighting speed (After writing a letter about my concerns)

I cannot praise Burnley General Dermatology dept enough and especially the time and patience the Consultant showed me.

I felt immediately assured by their direct eye contact and the time they took in asking me about my mole and skin cancer history.

They had my records out and was going through them trying to make sense of it all.

They assured me 100% that the lesion on my back was not cancer but to give me peace of mind, they said I could have it shaved off that day and biopsied and that's exactly what happened.

Compared to my experience/s with Blackburn Dermatology over the years, the difference was light and day. It was like I was a private patient!

Sure enough, I received a letter explaining the lesion on my back was a benign and harmless Seborrheic keratosis which the Consultant had told me they were sure it was they examined it.

Further more, a cancer nurse came to speak to me after I had the lesion removed and explained in detail about the type of Malignant Melanoma I had removed years ago. I was never told much about it at the time.

They also provided me some literature about the specific MM lesion I had removed which explained how rare it was that it spread due to the fact it was superficial (surface spread mainly)

Thank you! If only all doctors could be as professional with the same "bed side manner" the NHS would be so much better as a result.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Burnley General Hospital

Many thanks for your comments regarding your experience of the Dermatology Department at Burnley General Hospital and thank you for taking the time to do so. I note that you have provided previous comments regarding your experience and that your recent appointment was made after contacting the Patient Experience Team.

The Dermatology Department provides the service across both Blackburn and Burnley sites and the first Consultant you saw no longer works for the Trust.

I am so pleased to hear that your most recent experience was a positive one and that you felt the staff were professional and provided you with information regarding your condition.

I have forwarded your feedback to the team who I am sure will be delighted to receive such positive comments.

We would be really interested in using your story to highlight what made this such a good exprerience for you so that we can provide this level of care for all patients who use our services.

If you would be happy for us to do this please contact me Helen Ritchie on 01254 734471 or you can email me on helen.ritchie@elht.nhs.uk.

Many thanks again for commenting and Best Wishes.

Helen Ritchie, Senior Patient Experience Facilitator

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful