To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on patient care of reforms to dermatology services at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust; and what plans his Department has to improve the effectiveness and availability of dermatology services throughout the UK.
No assessment has been made. The commissioning and configuration of dermatology services in England is a local matter. The local National Health Service is best placed to make decisions that ensure services meet the needs of resident populations in the most appropriate way. Health is a devolved matter, and as such, dermatology services in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are a matter for the devolved administrations.
The majority of patients with dermatological disorders are managed in primary and community care. Whilst some patients may be referred for outpatient care, data collection here is not mandated, and is therefore partial and incomplete. Furthermore, the data that is available reports episodes of care, which are not a count of patients, as the same patient may have multiple episodes of care for the same reason.