The development of this website was kindly sponsored by the British Association of Dermatologists, who have no editorial control over its content.
Please click on the images below to access the latest news and updates on dermatology issues.
Parliamentary Questions - Specials
Please click on the link below to access a document that contains a very brief summary of what specials are and some parliamentary questions.
NHSE response on OTC medicines
The Dermatology Council of England (DCE) wrote to NHS England (NHSE) to raise its concern over the implementation of NHSE guidance on restricting the prescriptions of over-the-counter medicines. The DCE informed NHSE that it had collected evidence showing that a number of patients with long-term skin conditions have been incorrectly refused prescriptions of emollients because of the guidance and asked NHSE to consider clarifying and emphasizing the section on general exceptions. See below the response to DCE from Dr Bruce Warner:
Dear Mr Holmes,
Thank you for your letter raising concerns over the implementation of NHS England & NHS Clinical Commissioners guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) on Conditions for which over the counter items should not be routinely prescribed in primary care. Professor Stephen Powis has asked that I reply on his behalf as a joint chair of the clinical working group, responsible for the development of the CCG guidance.
I am sorry to hear that the Dermatology Council for England feels that the guidance is being misinterpreted by some CCGs and the impact this is appearing to have on people living with chronic and severe skin conditions. The clinical working group did not intend for this guidance to be used as a mechanism to initiate a blanket ban on emollients. If CCGs have implemented the guidance as intended, patients with chronic and severe skin conditions should still be able to receive their emollients on prescription as it is a chronic condition. The recommendation in this guidance only applies to those with mild dry skin.
As you may be aware, NHS England expects CCGs to take the guidance into account in formulating local polices, and for prescribers to reflect local policies in their prescribing practice. CCGs need to take decisions on implementation locally, ensuring they take into account their legal duties to advance equality and have regard to reducing health inequalities. The guidance does not remove the clinical discretion of the prescriber in accordance with their professional duties
NHS England is working closely with NHS Clinical Commissioners on implementation and is monitoring implementation of the guidance, including unintended consequences. As part of this ongoing review process the clinical working group will take account of your feedback and specific suggestion that we consider clarifying and emphasising the section on general exceptions.
Dr. Bruce Warner
Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer
NHS England & NHS Improvement
Psoriasis Association "Top Ten List"
2nd November 2018 – The Psoriasis Association 'Top Ten' list, agreed upon by patients, carers and clinicians, marks the culmination of the psoriasis Priority Setting Partnership (PSP). The Top Ten Psoriasis Research Priorities are:
1. Do lifestyle factors such as diet, dietary supplements, alcohol, smoking, weight loss and exercise play a part in treating psoriasis?
2. Does treating psoriasis early (or proactively) reduce the severity of the disease, make it more likely to go into remission, or stop other health conditions developing?
3. What factors predict how well psoriasis will respond to a treatment?
4. What is the best way to treat the symptoms of psoriasis: itching, burning, redness, scaling and flaking?
5. How well do psychological and educational interventions work for adults and children with psoriasis?
6. Does treating psoriasis help improve other health conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and stress?
7. Why do psoriasis treatments stop working well against psoriasis and when they stop working well, what’s the best way to regain control of the disease?
8. To what extent is psoriasis caused by a person’s genes or other factors, such as stress, gut health, water quality, or change in the weather / temperature?
9. Is a person with psoriasis more likely to develop other health conditions (either as a consequence of psoriasis or due to the effect of treatments for psoriasis)? If so, which ones?
10. What’s the best way to treat sudden flare ups of psoriasis?