Recent parliamentary questions on dermatology (June-July)

Recent parliamentary questions relating to the subject of dermatology can be found below:

9th July 2015

Baroness Masham of Ilton: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to act on the recommendation by the independent investigation into the loss of dermatology specialist services at the Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust that Health Education England consider increasing the number of consultant dermatologists.

Lord Prior of Brampton: 

In response to the independent report, Health Education East Midlands has led on the development of a local action plan aimed at the preservation and development of dermatology services in Nottingham. Health Education East Midlands facilitated a meeting on 15 June 2015 of dermatology consultants and nurses from Nottingham University Hospital and Circle Nottingham. This was a productive meeting and considered the best approach to working arrangements which would provide a good quality service for patients and training opportunities for supporting and developing consultants.

It is locally recognised that there is a need for an expansion of dermatology training numbers. Health Education East Midlands will input into the investment and workforce plans developed annually by Health Education England (HEE).

There have been no meetings between the Government and HEE about the independent report.

23rd June 2015

Baroness Finlay Finlay of Llandaff: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the reduction of dermatology services in Nottingham, what action they are taking to ensure that those services remain in place in Manchester.

Lord Prior of Brampton: 

Local health services, including dermatology services, are commissioned by local clinical commissioning groups, taking into account the healthcare needs of their populations and having regard to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.

It is for the National Health Service in Manchester to determine the provision of dermatology services locally.

We understand that South and Central Manchester, along with Trafford, clinical commissioning groups have commissioned a new community dermatology service to increase capacity and reduce waiting times.

15th June 2015

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether all locums employed by CircleNottingham are qualified to be included on the General Medical Council specialist register fordermatology specialist services.

Lord Prior of Brampton:

No assessment has been made by the Department of whether all locums employed by Circle Nottingham, an independent organisation, are qualified to be included on the General Medical Council specialist register fordermatology specialist services.

Circle Health Limited is an independent organisation. It is for the employer, not the Department, to ensure its employees are appropriately skilled, trained, qualified and professionally registered for the roles they are fulfilling.

9th June 2015

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to hold Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group to account for the failures in the commissioning of dermatology specialist services at the Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, described in a report of the independent investigation as an “unmitigated disaster”.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the independent investigation into the loss ofdermatology specialist services at the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Lord Prior of Brampton: 

The independent service review of dermatology services in Nottingham was initiated by Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), as the co-ordinating commissioner for Circle Nottingham services on behalf of the four Nottinghamshire CCGs.

The review reported on 4 June 2015, finding that no one person or organisation is to blame for the current problems faced by dermatology services in Nottingham. The review panel made recommendations for joint action by Rushcliffe CCG, Circle and Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust to address the immediate local situation. It also made a national recommendation for consideration by Health Education England.

8th June 2015

Rosie Cooper MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness of hidradenitis suppurativa.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the care pathways for patients with hidradenitis suppurativa.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department has taken to provide information to surgeons, dermatologists and general practitioners about hidradenitis suppurativa.

Jane Ellison MP (Minister for Public Health): 

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) affects around 90,000 people in England. The Department’s National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (CRN) is providing research infrastructure to enable molecular genetic analysis of HS, although expenditure on this cannot be disaggregated from total CRN spend.
Information on the diagnosis, treatment care and support of patients with HS can be found on the NHS Choices website. This also provides links to the British Association of Dermatologists, which has produced a patient information leaflet on HS, and the HS Trust, which is the United Kingdom‘s leading charity for the condition. More information can be found at the following link:
www.nhs.uk/conditions/hidradenitis-suppurativa/Pages/Introduction.aspx
In terms of the care pathway for the condition, HS can usually be managed with treatments including antibiotics, antiseptic washes and immunosuppressive treatments such as steroids or ciclosporin, which a general practitioner may prescribe. For those patients with the most serious forms of HS who cannot be managed through routine access to treatments provided through primary or secondary care, a referral to a specialised dermatology service may be appropriate. NHS England commissions services for people with rare and complex skin conditions and has set out what providers must have in place in order to offer specialist dermatology care. These services may provide more intensive therapies with the involvement of a range of health and care professionals, subject to a patient’s needs. More information can be found at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/a12-spec-dermatology.pdf

Sir Paul Beresford MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa cost the NHS in England in (a) 2012, (b) 2013 and (c) 2014.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to support patients with hidradenitis suppurativa.

Jane Ellison MP (Minister for Public Health): 

Hidradenitis suppurative (HS) affects around 90,000 people in England and can usually be managed with treatments including antibiotics, antiseptic washes and immunosuppressive treatments such as steroids or ciclosporin.

For those patients with the most serious forms of HS who cannot be managed through routine access treatments provided through primary or secondary care, a referral to a specialised dermatology service may be appropriate. NHS England commissions services for people with rare and complex skin conditions and has set out what providers must have in place in order to offer specialist dermatology care. These services may provide more intensive therapies with a involvement of a range of health and care professionals, subject to that patient’s needs. More information can be found at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/a12-spec-dermatology.pdf

The Department does not hold data on spending on individual dermatological conditions. However, the latest NHS Programme Budgeting data, which is for 2012-13, shows that the total spend on dermatology (excluding burns) was £1.98 billion.