A PROJECT which helps speed-up skin cancer diagnosis on the Isle of Wight has been shortlisted for a 2020 Health Service Journal Award, recognising its outstanding contribution to healthcare.

The team running the project, made up of Isle of Wight CCG, Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Lighthouse Medical, Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and Gnosco, has been shortlisted in the Primary Care Innovation of the Year category.

The project has seen GP practices on the Isle of Wight use an app-based innovation to help rapidly refer people who are concerned about skin abnormalities.

Read more: Pioneering skincare app introduced to Island GP practices

Isle of Wight County Press: Staff at Argyll House surgery welcomed the app.Staff at Argyll House surgery welcomed the app.

The technology reduces waiting times, some from over a month to just a few days, reduces the amount of follow-up appointments required and supports social distancing, which has been vital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

See video below

The app is called Dermicus, and it photographs and helps to diagnose skin issues, including skin cancer. It rapidly shares images of suspect skin legions between GPs and dermatologists.

This is especially useful for the Isle of Wight, if the dermatologist is not physically on the Island, so they can diagnose remotely.

The project was initially launched last year, and now every GP surgery on the Island is using the app.

It has reduced the average wait from referral to first consultant review from 26 days to 0.6 days.

Dr Michele Legg, a GP in Ryde and clinical chair for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “I’m delighted to hear that this initiative has received this deserved national recognition.

"It’s been a real team effort from the NHS on the Island to improve both health outcomes and the patient experience – and it is already proving its worth.”

Joe Smyth, chief operating officer at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “We are extremely proud of the team who have been involved with the roll out of teledermatoscopy.

"By embracing new technologies, we have introduced a programme of diagnosis that increases accessibility and equal treatment for our patients with suspected skin cancer.

“Our Island community has been at the heart of this partnership working and we are pleased that along with dramatically reducing waiting times between referral and review, that the team’s efforts are being recognised by being shortlisted for a healthcare award.”

The team has been shortlisted despite the tough competition from more than 1,000 entries.