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Welcome to our Dermatology unit. If you have been referred as a patient, we hope that you will find us efficient and friendly, and that your visit will be satisfactory. Included here are some facts and ideas that we think may help you.

Services and locations

Clifton Hospital, St Annes

  • General and specialist out-patient clinics
  • In-patient unit
  • Dermatological surgery
  • Ultra-violet therapy, including PUVA
  • Photo-dynamic therapy
  • Patch testing

Fleetwood Hospital

  • General out-patient clinics
  • Dermatological surgery
  • Ultra-violet therapy (UVB only)

Victoria Hospital, Blackpool

  • General out-patient clinic

Dermatology One-Stop Clinic

The Dermatology One-Stop Clinic is presently available only for patients of GP’s in Fylde and Wyre areas. Clinics are held at Fleetwood Hospital and at Lytham Primary Care Centre.

If you have an appointment at the one-stop clinic, you are strongly advised to read the following before your visit:

One-Stop Clinic   Cryotherapy   Skin surgery

Investigations and Treatments

Dermatological surgery: read the skin surgery advice leaflet

Photodynamic therapy: read the photo-dynamic therapy leaflet

Ultra-violet therapy: read the UVB leaflet

Ultra-violet PUVA therapy: read the PUVA leaflet

Patch testing: read the patch testing leaflet

Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy: read the cryotherapy leaflet

Botox therapy for axillary hyperhidrosis: read the Botox leaflet

Who will you be seeing

Please see the link above to read about the principal members of staff. All general out-patient clinics are under the supervision of a consultant. If you are seen by a doctor who is in training, that doctor will always be able to ask the consultant if in any doubt.

There may often be other doctors or students sitting in the out-patient clinics. We take medical students from Liverpool University, and we also have junior doctors training for general practice, and others. It is important that these students and doctors are given the opportunity to learn about skin disorders, but if you particularly do not want another person to be present, your wishes will be respected.

A number of special out-patient clinics are run by nurses. This may be a clinical nurse specialist, or another nurse who has had particular training for that clinic. These clinics include:

  • Phototherapy
  • Cosmetic camouflage
  • Eczema
  • Leg ulcer assessment
  • Acne (female patients on isotretinoin)
  • Biologic therapy (psoriasis)

Information about specific disorders

  • Psoriasis: A number of treatments for psoriasis can be given only in hospitals. These include ultra-violet therapy and PUVA, and certain medications which are not available for your family doctor to prescribe. The use of some of these medications is governed by guidelines issued by the British Association of Dermatologists, and by NICE. We also are able to admit patients for in-patient therapy of psoriasis, using older but safe treatments that can give prolonged relief. In-patient therapy for psoriasis requires about two weeks’ treatment in hospital. We are also able to offer these treatments as daily out-patient therapy to a limited number of patients.
  • Eczema: Investigations may include patch tests for allergy. We have a nurse-led eczema clinic in which time can be spent educating patients and parents about the correct use of creams and ointments, and about other useful therapies such as bandaging, as well as advice about life-style measures. For children with eczema, we have a dedicated paediatric dermatology clinic.
  • Acne: Certain treatments for acne can only be given in a hospital clinic, and for female patients this may require especially close monitoring. This is arranged in a clinic run by our clinical nurse specialist.
  • Skin cancer and suspicious lesions: If your family doctor suspects that there is any chance that you may have one of the risky forms of skin cancer, he will refer you to the fast-track skin-cancer clinic. You will be seen within two weeks of referral. There are also strict limits as to the time we take to treat your skin lesion (referral to treatment time, RTT). You may need a skin biopsy for diagnosis first (see skin surgery leaflet), and your final treatment may be done in our department, or by the plastic surgeons, for instance. Full information will be given to you about any skin cancer diagnosis that is made.
  • Benign skin lesions: If your skin lump is not cancerous, it may still be possible to treat it, but it may be considered more appropriate that your family doctor treats it, or that it is not treated at all. A full explanation of your diagnosis and treatment plan will be given to you.
  • Leg ulcers: Leg ulcers often take a long time to heal, although healing can be aided by compression (tight) bandaging in certain patients. Normally, the district nurse attached to your family doctor’s practice will supervise this treatment. The nurse may refer you to our department for further assessment, which is carried out by a fully trained dermatology nurse. Recommendations for your on-going treatment can then be made.
  • Difficult or unusual cases: There are a very large number of different diseases affecting the skin (far more than for most other specialties). If we have difficulty with your diagnosis or management, there are a number of ways in which we can obtain the help of other specialists. We may, for instance, suggest that you attend a clinical meeting. This may be within our own department, or jointly with other skin specialists from Lancashire and Cumbria. This will give you the benefit of the opinion of a number of experts. We also have links to other dermatology centres, especially the Dermatology Centre at Hope Hospital in Manchester.
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The Dermatology Ward

The in-patient unit is shared with rheumatology, though the majority of patients admitted for treatment are dermatology patients.

Visiting times are between1400 -1700 and 1800 -2000. Should your relatives need to see you outside of these hours this may be arranged with the Nurse-in-Charge.

The Ward Contact Number is 01253 657079; this phone is for enquiries only.

Mobile phones can be used in the Ward area, however, if you bring one with you, the battery charger will need to be checked by an electrician at the hospital.

Any electrical equipment, such as a hairdryer or laptop etc. may be brought in with you.  However, we ask that before it is used you se the Nurse-in-Charge so that arrangements can be made to have it checked by the electrician.

As well as having topical treatment part of your treatment is rest; please take advantage of this as it will help your recovery.  However, boredom may be a problem for you, so bring in any books etc to alleviate this.

We hope that you have a comfortable stay with us.  If you should have any problems please see the Nurse-in-Charge.

Valuables: We ask that you do not bring anything of great value into the hospital and only a small amount of change.  The hospital cannot be held responsible for anything mislaid.  We do provide a safe within the hospital for you to deposit any monies, should this be required.  Please speak with the Nurse in Charge.

Please be advised that the treatments which we will be using on your skin can sometimes stain your clothes and in some cases your skin; this staining does fade.  You are asked to bring in old clothing only.  You may wear clothes such as jogging suits or your normal clothes in the day time.  You do not need to stay in your night clothes unless you prefer to do so.  Please bring in old nightwear including a dressing gown and slippers or appropriate footwear.
Footwear must be worn at all times

Bring just one old hand towel as we shall provide towels.

If your scalp is affected and you possess a metal fine-toothed comb please bring this in with you.  Depending upon the treatment prescribed for you, topical creams etc may be applied once or twice daily.

Ward routines: Part of your treatment is a daily bath or shower using the emollients and bath oils provided by us.  You may still use your own soap for day-to-day cleanliness.

This hospital has a no smoking policy. 

Food is not to be brought into the hospital.  You may, however, bring in packed biscuits, sweets and washed fruit; soft drinks are also allowed.

We have a strict rule of no alcohol.

Meal times are

Breakfast 08.30
Lunch 12.30
Dinner 17.00

If you or a member of your family are going to have treatment on the dermatology ward, please read this important patient safety information  link to fire hazard leaflet

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Patients Representative

Mandi Howie, telephone: 07528 031713,

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Expert Patients Programme

The Expert Patients Programme is a course for people living with a long term health condition. The programme aims to help patients more take control of their health by learning new skills to manage their condition better on a daily basis.
Clifton Hospital has been host to an Expert Patients Programme course for Dermatology and Rheumatology patients. The course is funded by the North Lancashire Primary Care Trust and is free for anyone with a long term health condition.
For more information please contact:

Ttelephone 0800 988 5530 or visit

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