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NHS Patients Lack Proper Psoriasis Treatment

Armen Hareyan's picture

Patients with psoriasis are found not being properly treated in NHS dermatology units in UK and not receiving proper skin care treatment.

The Royal College of Physicians and the British Association of Dermatologists conducted a survey of 100 UK dermatology units. National Health Service psoriasis patients lack proper treatment in terms of new medicine, psychological support, bathing facilities, well trained staff.

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David Chandler, of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance, said: "The report supports anecdotal evidence from those that contact us about the inconsistencies of treatment and facilities in the UK. Living with a disease that affects you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is depressing enough, but to then find out that if you lived in a different location you would get better care is just an added burden."

Psoriasis is a skin condition when skin cells reproduce very quickly causing 'intensely itchy, flaky red patches'. Patients need very careful skin treatment: creams need to be applied very carefully not to hurt healthy skin, professionally trained nurses and washing facilities are needed to clean the skin. These patients have also shown high suicide rates because of deep stress caused by condition (1/10), this is why they need professional psychological support as well.

The survey results were disappointing: 1/3 units do not have proper bathing and washing facilities. In 43% units creams are being applied even by unspecialized nurses or even by patients. 1/5 nurses don't even have specialized nurses at all. 60% of facilities are not able to provide with proper psychological support. 4/10 units don't use newly developed biologic therapies because of high cost. Meanwhile these therapies target main causes of condition, rather than just treating symptoms.

Dr Colin Holden, president of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: "Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease which can have a huge physical and psychological impact, and as such patients require a high standard of care. This audit has produced data clearly showing that on a national level, the NHS is failing to provide patients with the level of care they deserve."