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Dermatology - Information for Patients

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Information for patients


How do I get referred to the dermatology department?

If you have a skin condition that your GP is unable to diagnose or treat then your GP can refer you to the dermatology department for specialist advice and treatment.
Alternatively, if you are under the care of another hospital department, your hospital specialist may refer you to the dermatology department if you have a skin condition that is relevant to your hospital treatment. Your GP may also offer to send photos and information about your skin condition to the dermatology department (teledermatology referral) as an alternative to a face-to-face referral, or to help the dermatology team triage you to the correct clinic.


What is the waiting time from referral to first appointment?

If your GP requests an urgent appointment you will normally be seen within 2 weeks of the hospital receiving your referral. Waiting times for non-urgent referrals are usually 4-6 weeks. The waiting time for teledermatology advice and guidance is 1-3 working days.


How are clinics run?

Your appointment will usually last around 15 minutes.. You will be seen by either the Consultant Dermatologist named on your appointment letter, or one of the doctors in their team. As the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital is a teaching hospital there may be medical students present at your appointment – please inform the reception staff when you arrive if you would prefer not to have students present at your appointment.


Can I see a dermatologist in the community?

The Consultant Dermatologists are predominantly based in the Heavitree dermatology department, but Consultant community clinics also run in Tiverton and Axminster. The dermatology department is closely integrated with a network of GPs with a special interest in dermatology (GPSI dermatology) who have all completed a one year diploma in dermatology and carry out weekly community dermatology clinics. Your GP may initially refer you to see one of the community GPSI s instead of referring you to the hospital dermatology department. (See the 'Meet the team: Other medical staff).

Many patients can be treated effectively in the community GPSI dermatology clinics and will not require a hospital dermatology appointment. If your GP or GPSI decides you have a complex skin condition or require specialist dermatology  care  they will arrange you an  appointment in  the hospital dermatology clinic.


Information on a variety of skin conditions is available at and at