Introduction External referral to dermatology and psychosexual services from genitourinary medicine (GUM) can cause delays in patient care. To counter this within our service an experienced consultant has established a Special Interest Clinic (SIC) reviewing dermatology, erectile dysfunction and complex GUM cases. Written educational feedback is offered to internal referrers. We reviewed the impact of SIC.
Aims To evaluate the service offered by SIC.
Methods Data was collated from randomly selected patient records who attended SIC between April 2012 and April 2013.
Results A total of 100 records were reviewed. 67 patients were male, 25 of whom were MSM. Patients were ethnically diverse, White British (52) being the most common ethnicity. Median age was 33 years (range 19–70). 12 patients were HIV-infected. Internal referrals predominated (96) and average waiting time from referral was 6.2 weeks (range 0.14–28). Broadly stratifying referrals 40 patients were complex GUM, 35 psychosexual medicine, 25 dermatology. The most prevalent diagnoses were erectile dysfunction (23) and lichen sclerosus (9). 9 patients required skin biopsy, 8 of which were performed within SIC. Ongoing follow up was recommended to 60 patients, of which 43 (71.7%) were retained. 27 patients were discharged after first attendance. 77 referrers requested feedback, all received it.
Conclusion Keeping patients within our service provided continuity of care. The availability of formal feedback increases educational opportunities for referrers. We recommend experienced clinicians consider establishing similar SICs in other services. A challenge services will encounter is the lack of specific SHHAPT coding for prevalent SIC diagnoses.
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