The Dermatology Department at CRHFT offers different services to treat many different skin conditions including skin cancers. You are normally referred to the Dermatology department by your GP. If they suspect you may have skin cancer this will most likely have been done referred in by your GP as a 2 week wait. You will then be seen in clinic. Depending on your diagnosis, depends on your next step. We are able to offer surgery within our dermatology department. Although sometimes we feel it would be better to offer surgery in an alternative setting and may refer you to other specialist departments, either here or at other hospitals, normally in Sheffield.
We offer surgical treatments as well as topical treatments depending on the patient’s diagnosis. We also offer follow up consultations, this can be done face-to-face, video or by telephone. Follow ups can vary from patient to patient. Sometimes no follow up’s are required and you may be discharged without need for any.
We aim to provide the best standard of care and work closely with colleagues in other areas to do this. We can give written information about your diagnosis and contact information for further information if you are given a skin cancer diagnosis. If you are given a diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma you do not normally need any further treatment or follow up. This will be explained with your results.
Essential Information for New Patients
What happens in Clinic?
You will be seen in dermatology suite 3. The appointment time and length can vary depending on who you see and what you have been referred with. You may either see a specialist Doctor or a Specialist Nurse. If you would like to have a chaperone in with you during your consultation, let the clinician know and this can be arranged. When you attend for your first appointment, you will be asked about the lesion you have been referred with, its history and any symptoms it is causing. You will also be asked about any medications you take; it is helpful to bring a list of these with you when you attend (there is no need to bring your medication(s)). The lesion will most likely be looked at with an instrument called a dermatoscope (this magnifies the image of the lesion) it is a hand held device that is placed on the skin surface. We may also ask if we can take pictures of the lesion. It can also be beneficial to look at other areas of your body if you have other lesions. On your first appointment, you will be told if the lesion is benign, if there is a suspicion of cancer or a level of uncertainty. A biopsy or excision will be arranged according to the clinical appearance if required. Sometimes we will take a photograph of the lesion, measurements and ask to see you again roughly 3 months afterwards to reassess and compare, following national guidelines.
If you are referred for surgery in Dermatology, your appointment would normally last between 30-60 minutes. However, the surgery is not normally carried out on the same day as your initial appointment.
Based on the clinician’s expert opinion and following national guidelines they will allocate the most suitable level of urgency to your treatment need and decide which type of surgical list you would be most suited to (minor operation or day case- this would not take all day).
Sometimes you will be given an appointment request form to take to reception to obtain a date or it will be sent out in the post. The surgery can be carried out by one of our Doctors or a nurse who has undertaken additional training and competence to carry this out. If you need to be referred to a different speciality either here at the Royal or at a different hospital, you will be referred by the clinician you have seen and they will discuss and explain this to you. If you are seen by a different department they will most likely want to contact you before you have any treatment in order to plan your treatment.
Clinics can sometimes run late so extra time needs to be considered for this. Follow up intervals will vary depending on the type of skin cancer you are diagnosed with. They can include full body skin, scar and lymph gland checks, advice on prevention of further skin cancers and what to do if you suspect another.
The aftercare will be tailored to the individual needs and diagnosis.
How do I change my appointment?
You can contact the hospital on the following number:
New Outpatient appointments 01246 512673
Alternatively, you can telephone the number on your appointment letter.
Can I bring someone with me?
Yes, please do.
We appreciate the need for patients to be fully supported and our aim is to enable this whenever possible. Please be aware that our consultation rooms and our waiting rooms are small and we cannot accommodate large numbers of family members or friends under normal circumstances.
It is helpful if you can ensure that you are accompanied by the same family member or friend on each attendance.
COVID restrictions place extra challenges and the Trust must follow whatever national guidance is in place at the time you attend. Nevertheless, we have managed to continue to enable one relative or friend to be present during clinical consultations.
Please note, even under non-pandemic conditions, relatives or friends are not able to be present whilst in theatre, or CT or MRI scans are being performed.
Every patient with a skin cancer diagnosis will have different treatment plans and follow up pathways. The treatment and follow up options will be discussed at diagnosis. You will be given time to make your decision regarding your next treatment, contact details will be given at this time so you will know who to get in touch with. Some treatments can only be carried out at Sheffield. If this is the treatment you want to go ahead with we will refer you to them.
Examples of treatments
These vary greatly depending on diagnosis and initial treatment.
Wide local excision an extra piece of skin taken from around the area that you had initially excised.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy a test that is normally carried out at the Hallamshire Hospital at Sheffield .It is dependent on your initial diagnosis as to whether it is appropriate it is not available to everyone. This is carried out under general anaesthetic. The plastic surgeons will discuss this procedure in more detail if you decide to go ahead.
Clinic follow up you will be seen in clinic where skin and lymph gland checks maybe carried out and concerns addressed relating to your diagnosis. Sometimes we will ask if you would prefer a telephone review or a video call, though we would always like to see you face to face for alternate visits. It is your choice if you would or would not like a virtual follow up.
NGS Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
01246 516406 Mon – Fri 0830-1630
Please click the link below to view an video form the Chesterfield Royal Hospitals - Skin Cancer Nurse Specialists providing more information on Squamous Cell Carcinoma's (SCC)
Meet the team
Dr Colver - Lead Consultant
Cancer Nurse Specialists
Nicola Cooke - Advanced Skin Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist
Emma Eden - Skin Cancer Clinical Nurse specialist
Karen Greenfield - Lead Skin Inflammatory Nurse Specialist
Beth Clarke - Matron
Jane Butt - Sister
Health Care Assistants
Hospital main number 01246 277271
New Outpatient appointments 01246 512673
Follow-up appointments 01246 516090
Alternatively, check your letter for CNS contact details.