Ask for clear

Empower yourself and take control

 
 

You are the expert on you


Own the first minute. Ask questions. Remember, there are two experts in the room - you are the expert on you.

Your appointment is a chance to explain to your doctor or nurse how psoriasis is affecting your life and to make decisions about your treatment plan together.

This video simulates a typical appointment and the questions you are likely to be asked by a dermatologist*. As you move through the questions, see how the answers you give influence the doctor’s response to you.

A downloadable summary with hints and tips is available once you have answered all of the questions and can be used as a prompt ahead of your next appointment.

The video is based on the experience of someone who is already seeing a dermatologist and currently on treatment.

* Questions and answers were developed with a group of people with psoriasis and a dermatologist.

Question text here

PSO17-C009c September 2017. This resource is part of a programme that is funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited, and is organised and run in partnership with a group of people who have psoriasis.

PSO17-C009f September 2017. This resource is part of a programme that is funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited, and is organised and run in partnership with a group of people who have psoriasis.

You know you best

"Its about taking some of the power back. Making it more of a collaborative process between you and the healthcare provider so that you can get the most out of your appointment" - Gill, London

You know you best


Health professionals aren't the only experts in your life. What about YOU?

No one knows you better than yourself. You're the expert in your life and your psoriasis. Whether you have severe, moderate or mild symptoms, only you know how the severity of your psoriasis affects you. Only you understand your symptoms, the impacts they have, when they're at their best and worst and what makes the difference. No one else has this knowledge and only you can give it to them.

In the 1990s the government appointed a Patient Tzar (Harry Cayton) who introduced the phrase 'nothing about us without us', and around this time the NHS introduced the Expert Patient Programme. So we have plenty of good reasons and encouragement to become more active in our own care; to become empowered patients and accept that we are experts, too.

If you want to know more about patient empowerment you can watch our video on this page. In this video, Gill, one of our group of people with psoriasis who created this site, talks about patient empowerment and how it can help you have better conversations with your doctor or nurse. She's joined by Dr Anthony Bewley, consultant dermatologist at Whipps Cross University Hospital.

Read more

If you found this helpful, please share to help other psoriasis sufferers.

  

Before Your Appointment

"Its about taking some of the power back. Making it more of a collaborative process between you and the healthcare provider so that you can get the most out of your appointment" - Gill, London

Before your appointment


Benjamin Franklin famously said, 'If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.'

So plan the conversation you want to have with your nurse, doctor or consultant.

Think about what YOU want to achieve and discover. Clearer skin, lifestyle changes, to try alternative or natural treatments for your psoriasis, to feel better emotionally or appear better physically?

From writing a list and keeping a psoriasis symptoms and treatments diary to rehearsing, relaxing and arriving early, our guide will help you to better prepare, empower yourself and achieve your objectives

Remember: your healthcare professionals only want the best for you. But they still need you to tell them what your 'best' is.

You’ll get so much more out of your appointment if you are able to keep a diary of your psoriasis experience that you can draw on. It’s important to record the good and the bad days so that you have a full picture of how your psoriasis is affecting you over time.

You can also record how your psoriasis is affecting your wider life, such as doing everyday things like housework, gardening, cooking or going for a walk. Don’t forget to record your mood and how you feel in yourself.

If you prefer not to write, you can also use drawings, download a body chart, or take in photos to help you explain to your doctor or nurse how your psoriasis is progressing. You could make voice recordings on your mobile phone if this is easier for you.

Download the guide Read more

If you found this helpful, please share to help other psoriasis sufferers.

  

During Your Appointment

"Its about taking some of the power back. Making it more of a collaborative process between you and the healthcare provider so that you can get the most out of your appointment" - Gill, London

During your appointment


Even a 5 to 10 minute appointment is long enough to share a lot of information. It allows you time to start building a relationship with your healthcare professional and develop the two-way communication that's so important to getting the right psoriasis treatments and you achieving your goals.

From asking 'open questions', raising the issues that matter to you and being honest to being confident, making suggestions and asking if you don't understand, our guide gives you various ways to make the most of your appointment - while you're in the room.

Remember, you are the expert on you. Be prepared. Be confident. Work in partnership with your nurse, doctor or consultant.

Sometimes you may be seeing a doctor or nurse who doesn’t know you well so you should feel comfortable to share your knowledge, talk through your experiences to date and ask for the appointment to be based around open and collaborative discussion.

It’s worth summarising the conversation at the end of the appointment, pointing out the information and recommendations that you will think about at home and any actions that your doctor or nurse has agreed to take. This will help you to reflect on the meeting and provide your doctor or nurse with an opportunity to share any further information that might help.

Download the guide Read more

If you found this helpful, please share to help other psoriasis sufferers.

  

After Your Appointment

"Its about taking some of the power back. Making it more of a collaborative process between you and the healthcare provider so that you can get the most out of your appointment" - Gill, London

After your appointment


Your appointment doesn’t end when you walk out the door.

Reflect and ask yourself some questions; it'll make your next meeting with your healthcare professionals more productive.

How do you feel? Did you achieve your objectives? Were you able to raise all the issues? Remember, it takes time and often more than one visit to build a relationship with your nurse, doctor or consultant. Every appointment is different. Everybody is learning constantly.

But don't be hard on yourself. Make notes, learn and it'll be better next time. Plus, know your enemy – is yours mild, acute, chronic, guttate or arthritic psoriasis. Get any help or advice on the disease, the problems and solutions you can.

Any effort you make to get to know the wider team is really helpful. Your nurse can be an ally and support for you and can suggest ways in which you can get more out of your appointment, as well as listening to your problems and helping you find solutions.

Whatever stage you are at, whether you’ve just been diagnosed or whether you’ve been living with psoriasis for many years, it’s good to get as much advice as you can by speaking to different people. That includes people from the medical profession, your doctor, your nurse, people with psoriasis, even people who know someone with psoriasis.

Download the guide Read more

If you found this helpful, please share to help other psoriasis sufferers.

  

Find your nearest dermatologist

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

Knowledge is power


The SymTrac™ App

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

Take control

Take your first step


Complete a DLQI

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

Begin now

Tips and Resources


We know how you feel

See all the top tips and useful resources you can put into practice to help improve your skin and psoriasis care.

Learn more

PSO17-C014d September 2017