Your GP will decide whether you require a referral to a dermatologist or community dermatology service which may be delivered by specialist nurses, GPs with an extended role and / or a dermatologist. You are entitled to ask for a referral, however the final decision will be based on what your GP feels is clinically necessary. Sometimes it will take multiple visits to a GP before a referral is confirmed as the right course of action.
If your GP decides that you do need to be referred for specialist tests or treatment, you may have the right to choose which hospital or consultant-led team you go to (for referrals that should take place within 18 weeks, which are sometimes called ’18-week wait referrals’ or ‘non-urgent’ referrals). This means that if you choose a particular consultant for a procedure, you can choose to have your first outpatient appointment at the hospital where the consultant works and be treated by that consultant’s team.
Skin cancer referrals that should take place within 2 weeks, sometimes called ‘urgent’ referrals’, are direct to your local Hospital Trust.