Check4Cancer presents at the British Dermatological Nursing Group’s 30th Annual Conference

The 30th Annual Conference of the British Dermatological Nursing Group (BDNG) which has over 2,200 members has been held this week at the Harrogate Convention Centre. Check4Cancer gave an oral and poster presentation on ‘managing a safe nurse-led skin cancer diagnostic service during the coronavirus pandemic’. 

The presentation was delivered by Julie Van Onselen, Check4Cancer’s skin cancer nurse specialist to the participants at the annual conference on how we maintained and adapted our clinical services for our skin cancer diagnostic pathway throughout successive lockdowns in 2020. Contributors to the oral and poster presentation included Louise Mills, Clinical and Operations Director, Caoimhe Scully, Skin Cancer Nurse Specialist, and Professor Gordon Wishart, Chief Medical Officer at Check4Cancer.

The paper presented to the conference attendees was to raise awareness and share good practice on how we adapted and maintained our clinical services for the diagnosis of skin cancer for our clients.

Key findings presented by Julie Van Onselen at the BDNG annual conference were:

  • When our clinical services were challenged in March 2020, we adapted our procedures to continue to provide safe, specialist skin diagnostic priority clinics to our clients who had lesions of concern. Access for these clients to the NHS at this time was severely limited due to the pandemic.
  • All general SkinCheck appointments were paused as they were not deemed urgent and only clients with lesions of concern were seen by our nurses.
  • A maximum of three lesions per client were reviewed to minimize contact between clients and our nurses. Appointments were reduced to 10-15 minutes to adhere to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) rule at the time of 15-minutes maximum contact where social distancing could not be adhered to.
  • All clients were triaged prior to booking their appointment for possible symptoms of Covid.
  • A risk assessment was produced with regards to assessing lesions of concern for our nursing staff.

By taking rapid action and adjusting our clinical practice for our skin cancer diagnostic services from the period March to December 2020, 3,801 clients were able to access skin cancer appointments with Check4Cancer. During this period, we identified 29 melanomas and 114 non-melanoma skin cancers.

The presentation concluded on how as a company we were able to adapt our clinical practice safely and quickly within a rapidly changing environment by working as a team and showing great resilience.  Effective and timely communication between our consultants, staff, and clients was invaluable to ensure that we could still provide our skin cancer diagnostic clinics throughout this challenging period.