GPs must have training in detection and referral of suspect skin lesions

GPs should have mandatory training in early detection and referral of suspect skin lesions, the charity Skin Cancer UK says.

Skin cancer: early detection needs to improve, charity says
Skin cancer: early detection needs to improve, charity says

In a report into skin cancer and sun awareness, the charity raised concerns about dermatology service funding and public education failures.

'Since last year's health White Paper, we have seen a reduction in spend on frontline services in dermatology within the NHS and, as yet, nothing to address raising awareness of the problem or improving early detection,' the report said.

The charity said it was 'critical' to have mandatory training and guidance for healthcare professionals including GPs and nurses in the early detection, recognition and referral of suspect lesions.

Skin Cancer UK believes that the current NHS reforms provide an opportunity to improve sun awareness education.

'The current government's policy of redirecting responsibility for public health away from the NHS towards local authorities provides an opportunity for the development of stronger links between public health and local education authorities,' the report said.

The charity said there continued to be confusion among the public round the issues of vitamin D versus sun protection.

'A future unified awareness campaign must address these issues as consumer confusion can understandably lead to inaction,' the charity said.

Skin Cancer UK also 'strongly advocates' a focus on primary school education about sun awareness.

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