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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dermatology (Skin)

Based at Clatterbridge Hospital, our Dermatology Service has developed into one of the leading dermatology departments in the country.

Once a diagnosis has been made, we are able to plan and deliver all of the dermatological treatments you are likely to need.

You may even be able to carry out some of your treatment in your own home.

Our outpatient department at Clatterbridge Hospital can undertake complex investigations such as skin biopsies as well as treatments such as leg ulcer dressings or photodynamic therapy (PDT) for skin cancers. We can also deliver phototherapy if you require more intensive treatment plus we have a dedicated inpatient ward to deal with the most severe skin disease.

A monthly clinic takes place in conjunction with our maxillofacial and oculoplastic surgeons and radiotherapists for those with more complex problems. We do this clinic as it ensures patients are assessed by all the relevant doctors and departments who might need to be involved in their care in a single ‘one stop’ attendance.

Specialist Facilities - skin cancer work

The department is also accredited for the diagnosis and management of all skin cancers. Not only do we run rapid access skin cancer assessment clinics, we are also able to perform all types of skin surgery needed for the removal of skin cancers.

We have rapid access clinics for the assessment of moles and lumps and bumps which your doctor might be worried about.

All skin cancer surgery (and other surgery carried out in this department) will take place in our own dedicated dermatology theatres based at Clatterbridge Hospital.

If you have a certain melanoma you may need a technique called a ‘sentinel node biopsy’. If this is the case this will be carried out at Whiston Hospital, but your follow up treatment will take place at one of our hospitals on Wirral.

Useful Information

The British Association of Dermatologists have a range of useful patient information leaflets available to download. These can be found by clicking here.

Our Staff

Nursing Staff

The unit is run under the supervision of our ward manager who is responsible for all nursing both on the ward, on the daycare unit and in the outpatient clinics. She is the ‘Clinical Champion’ for the department ensuring the highest standards of nursing care along with a ‘clean and safe’ environment. She is also an active member of the North West Dermatology nurse network and the British Dermatological Nursing group.

Currently, we also have a specialist nurse who runs follow up clinics and also carries out minor surgery and photodynamic therapy for some malignant and premalignant skin lesion and a skin cancer nurse who coordinates services for and acts as a focal point for contact and information for those with skin malignancies.

In addition to these specific roles, the unit is run as an integrated unit and all of our nurses rotate through the various parts of the department. All, therefore, are highly experienced in all aspects of dermatology. As a result they can also help with patient education and advice as well as carry out their specific duties. 5 currently have the Dermatology N25 qualification from John Moores University, 9 have completed the Principles and Practice of dermatological Care from Chester University and 3 more are studying for this at present.

Public and Patient involvement group

The department has an active group consisting of patients, doctors, nurses and clerical representatives who meet for 1 hour every alternate month to discuss all matters relating to the department, such as departmental information, efficient running and communication about our services, local service provision issues or others matters of relevance to patients. The group is also involved with fundraising and other activities for the department.

For further information, you can contact Michelle Young or Sister Sue James on 0151 482 7780.
Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address:

Dermatology unit
Clatterbridge Hospital
CH63 4JY

Specialist Facilities

Skin Cancer work

This comprises rapid access clinics for the assessment of moles and ‘lumps and bumps’ which you doctor might be worried about. Any malignancies detected are removed at that clinic visit and others patients reassured. 

All skin cancer surgery (and other surgery carried out in the dept) is done in our own dedicated dermatology theatres at Clatterbridge and as a result, we have not had any problems with infection such as MRSA and C Difficile. We are also able to offer other treatments for skin malignancies such as phototherapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT). 

We also run a monthly clinic in conjunction with our Maxillo-Facial and Oculo-Plastic Surgeons and Radiotherapist for those with more complex problems. This ensures that such patients are assessed by all those doctors and departments who might need to be involved in their care in a single ‘one stop’ attendance. 

All aspects of care for those with skin malignancies are provided in house except a small minority of patients with melanoma who might need a technique called ‘sentinel node’ biopsy which is carried out at Whiston hospital. These patients would ultimately be followed up at one of the Wirral hospitals once their initial treatment has been carried out. 

More informtion on the commonest premalignant and malignanant skin problems are listed below:

Dermatology Ward and Daycare Unit

Most patients with skin conditions can be treated by themselves in the outpatient setting.

A proportion of those patients with more severe skin conditions may require hospital based treatments with creams which are difficult or messy to apply at home, or treatment with phototherapy. These treatments are carried out by our specialist dermatology nurses on our daycase unit. This operates in the mornings and evenings, thereby allowing patients to attend at a time convenient to them.

Very occasionally, patients with very severe skin disease may require hospital based treatment. Again this can be provided locally in our dedicated dermatology inpatient ward at Clatterbridge. All care will be provided by dedicated dermatology nurses who are highly experienced in managing skin disease. The expertise of our ward is well recognised and as a result the unit is also used by the Countess of Chester consultants for the care of those patients from West Cheshire.

Take a look at the NHS Choices mole self assessment online test here.