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NHS rapped over psoriasis treatment

Psoriasis sufferers are not receiving adequate care from the NHS for their condition, according to a report.

And a postcode lottery exists over the types of treatments given to sufferers, the study by the British Association of Dermatologists and Royal College of Physicians said.

Around 2% of people in the UK suffer from psoriasis, in which skin cells reproduce too quickly, causing red, flaky, crusty patches with silvery scales to develop on the skin for which patients may require hospital treatment.

The report, which included a survey of 100 UK dermatology units, found that 20% had no dermatology specialist nurses, despite evidence they help patients to self-manage the condition.

Topical treatments for psoriasis have to be applied and washed off safely so there is no damage to healthy skin.

But a third (32%) of units surveyed for the report did not have adequate bathing and showering facilities for in-patients.

In 41% of units, nurses with no dermatology training or the patients themselves applied topical treatments, the study found.

And six in 10 (60%) units had no clinical psychology services to support patients over their condition.

This is despite estimates that as many as one in 10 patients, especially younger sufferers, consider suicide due to emotional distress over their condition.

British Association of Dermatologists

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