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Psoriasis is personal. The right care starts with your doctor and discussing your needs.

 
 

We know your experience of psoriasis is highly individual and the NHS can seem large, daunting and a bit of a roller coaster at times. So we felt it was important for you to know where you start, where you stand and where you might go with the NHS at different points in your psoriasis treatments and care.


Here's Laura, one of our group of people with psoriasis who helped create this site, to share her experiences of care through the NHS care pathway. Pathway is a term the NHS uses to describe the different stages of care and the healthcare professionals you may see, when and why.

You can find out more about the NHS Psoriasis Care Pathway, How the NHS Works and the Standards of Care you can expect to receive under the tabs below.

The NHS Pathway


Everyone is at a different stage of their journey with psoriasis and it doesn’t need to feel like finding your way through a maze. It’s important that you get the treatment that’s best for you.

Whether you’re about to see your doctor for the first time or you’ve been seeing a dermatologist over a long period, you should make sure you’re aware of the alternative treatments available to you.

There are generally 4 types:


Topical therapies are applied directly to the skin and include the wide variety of shampoos and creams used to treat psoriasis. They are treatments that can be prescribed by your GP and are most likely where your treatment will begin.


Phototherapy is the use of ultraviolet (UV) light to slow the rapid growth of new skin cells. There are three types of ultraviolet light therapy; psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA), narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) or broadband UVB.


Oral systemic therapy is medication taken in tablet form, which affects the whole body.


Injectable systemic biological therapy is given by injection into the skin or via a drip. These treatments are made to stimulate or restore the ability of the body’s immune - or natural defence - system to fight disease.


If you get side-effects with any medication you are taking, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side-effects not listed in the information leaflet that comes in the pack. You can report side effects via the Yellow Card Scheme at http://www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side-effects you can help provide more information on the safety of your medication.

Standards of Care


When you're treated by the NHS you have rights and are entitled to a certain standard of care. By understanding what these standards are, you can strive towards this.

Organisations, like the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), have set out what you should expect from your care experience.

There are also a number of standards that you can expect from your care that specifically relate to psoriasis, as set out by NICE and you can read them here. They state that adults with psoriasis should be:

  • Offered an assessment of disease severity at diagnosis and when response to treatment is assessed
  • Offered an assessment of the impact of the disease on physical, psychological and social wellbeing at diagnosis and when response to treatment is assessed
  • Referred for assessment by a dermatology specialist if indicated
  • Offered a cardiovascular risk assessment at diagnosis and at least once every five years
  • Offered an annual assessment for psoriatic arthritis, if receiving treatment
  • Monitored in accordance with locally agreed protocols, if receiving systemic therapy

These standards can help you to gain a greater sense of control of your psoriasis. If you think your care is not meeting these standards, speak to your healthcare professional or you can follow the NHS complaints procedure here.

It’s important to remember that care is a two-way relationship between patients and healthcare professionals, and both parties have a responsibility to work together respectfully.

Read more

  

How the NHS works


Although the NHS is set up to provide people with local and responsive care, we know it can sometimes seem large and daunting. In fact, when asked to describe experiences within the NHS, we sometimes hear descriptions like, 'life on a rollercoaster' or 'being trapped in a maze.'

These descriptions reflect a common concern in the care and treatment of psoriasis sufferers – that it can seem disjointed, hard to access and unpredictable.

However, as said above, the NHS is run in a way that aims to put people at the centre of their care. By understanding what you should expect during your care, you can have balanced conversations and seek the support you need.

The Government has designed the NHS like this so that it is responsive to the needs of local communities.

It can mean that the way care is experienced varies across the UK. In addition, healthcare professionals such as GPs, dermatologists and specialist nurses will all practice in slightly different ways. This means that there is not a "one size fits all" approach for healthcare in the UK.

The level of care given to people with psoriasis varies across the country. Some report full satisfaction, whilst others report they experience long waiting times once referrals have been secured; or that appointments with specialists are too brief.

Challenges relating to providing healthcare can be complex. People with psoriasis can get more from their care by gaining information, understanding their rights, and understanding the type of conversations that help healthcare professionals provide tailored care.

Read more

  

Enhance Your Appointment


You're the expert on you

Here are a selection of tools to help you make the most of your time with your doctor.

Find out how

Take your first step


Complete a DLQI

Help your doctor to help you by understanding how psoriasis impacts your quality of life.

Begin now

Knowledge is power


The SymTrac™ App

Monitor, measure and track your psoriasis symptoms to put you and your doctor in command.

Take control

Find your nearest dermatologist

Go straight to the NHS Dermatologist Location Finder and pop in your postcode

PSO17-C014g September 2017