RCHT winners at QiC dermatology awards

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An innovative new ‘super clinic’, which is set up to treat patients with a diagnosis of mycosis fungoides cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (MF-CTCL) at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, has won an award in the Patient Care Pathway, Secondary and Community category, at this year’s Quality in Care (QiC) Dermatology Awards.

The awards, which were held on Thursday 14 September at the Royal College of Physicians in London, recognise, reward and share innovative practice demonstrating quality in Dermatology management, education, and services for people with Dermatology, as well as their families and carers.

The win for RCHT was for the initiative, ‘Bringing the MDT to the Patient: An Innovative Clinic in Cornwall for a Rare Cancer.’

Dr Claire Bailey, associate specialist in Dermatology at RCHT, is the current clinic lead and took a leading role in the project’s initiation.

“It was apparent that our MF-CTCL patients needed a better care pathway,” Dr Bailey explains. “Mycosis fungoides Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (MF-CTCL) is a rare condition with diagnostic and management challenges. No standard pathway for treatment currently exists. Patients require haematology and dermatology treatment to manage the condition. The majority of patients also need access to the regional supranetwork skin multidisciplinary team in line with British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) guidelines. However, this can distance patients and local clinicians from the decision-making process.”

“In designing the new pathway, I invited experts to join me in a one-stop MDT super clinic,” Dr Bailey continues. “I worked alongside Dr Michelle Furtado, who brought her own input and expertise, as well as Dr Giles Dunnill, who is a leading expert from Bristol. The clinic involved patient education, consultant led clinical work, a one-stop shop for bloods and biopsies, a patient support group, and goody bags for patients to takeaway. Alongside this, our team of doctors and nurses were educated in a rare condition, including registrars from neighbouring regions. The feedback for medical education was excellent.”

The RCHT was awarded in the Patient Care Pathway category. This category recognises innovative patient care pathway initiatives in response to patient needs and goals, with demonstrable results of improved quality and delivery of effective integrated services that are based in the community and/or in hospital.

“Our manager, Roz Davies, was open minded and supportive in allowing me to change the department structure to allow the clinic to happen,” Dr Bailey continues. “I submitted the abstract to the British Association of dermatologist and was invited to speak at a symposium and exhibit a poster. We went on to win the Quality in Care pathway award in London and I’ve just heard that we have also received a European award as well. The clinic is now being rolled out in Plymouth and Exeter with the identical structure.”

Speaking about the clinic’s success, Roz Davies, Care Group Manager for Specialist Services and Surgery at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The super clinic is a real improvement in care for our patients, as well as an education for our clinicians. We’re incredibly proud of the work that has been put into this new initiative by all involved, and this national award is a very real validation of the work of Dr Bailey and her colleagues. The clinic will ensure appropriate staging and management, as well as improving the quality of patient care and experience.”

Commenting on the win, the QiC judges said: “The Royal Cornwall Hospitals entry offered a truly valuable service to patients. It was fantastic for teaching and training and the judges liked that it addressed a less common condition. It was well thought out, and the model is transferable to more common conditions. A very deserving winner.”

For a full list of winning, highly commended and finalist entries to the 2023 QiC Dermatology Awards, visit https://www.qualityincare.org/dermatology

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