- Mahbub M Chowdhury, consultant dermatologist1,
- Nikola Bevanchapter2
- Karen Ryan, nurse team leader3
- 1Wales Institute of Dermatology, University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK
2Employee Health and Well-being, Department of Health, University of Cardiff and Vale, University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff, UK
3Department of Occupational Health, Department of Health, University of Cardiff and Vale, University of Wales, Cardiff, UK
Collaboration is a key feature of remote teamwork during the Covid-19 pandemic. Occupational health nurses and a team of dermatologists have worked closely in Cardiff for many years. Thanks to the support of senior executives, we quickly created a professional virtual skin clinic “19”, which “visits” up to 10 patients per week. This service was advertised in the CEO’s daily updates, Connect employee apps, and covid-19 branded posters.
Occupational health nurses screen health workers to advise on self-care or to refer a moderate to severe permanent skin disease to dermatology for a virtual telephone consultation. The central administration email account can receive clinical photographs that have been verified by a dermatologist.
The Department of Health provides free emollients at the offices for health workers using a centralized ordering system. Prescription patients are delivered manually to healthcare providers on the spot or faxed directly to the pharmacy for distribution. All recipes in Wales are free. Follow-up may be associated either with dermatology, with occupational health, or with proposed future skin allergy tests or skin injections for latex allergies.
To date, we have examined more than 45 health workers and allowed most to cope with skin problems associated with FFP3 masks or other personal protective equipment on their own using patient care or medical care. The full impact on the redistribution of health workers will be clearer in the next few months.
Most of the skin problems observed today are exacerbations of dermatitis, facial rashes on the face, nose erosion, as described earlier,1234 and strange eyelid edema associated with fluid-resistant surgical masks, possibly due to an immediate allergy to latex.
These forward-looking data are being input into a multicenter data collection event with the British Society of Skin Allergy and show the benefits of virtual professional skin care clinics during the current pandemic.
This article is made freely available for use in accordance with the terms and conditions of the BMJ website for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until the BMJ determines otherwise. You can use, download and print the article for any legal, non-commercial purposes (including extracting text and data), provided that all copyright and trademark notices are preserved.