What a fantastic evening for the first meeting of the Cross Party Group on Skin held in Ty Hywel of the Cardiff Assembly.

Nick Ramsay AM chaired the group which brought together some of the leading names in dermatology and plastic surgery, as well as representatives from patient groups and Welsh Government.

The meeting started with introductions from around the room – a veritable “Who’s Who” in dermatology in Wales, followed by a brief presentation of the proceedings from Nick Ramsay. The meeting then continued with presentations from the group.

Firstly, Sarah Wright from Skin Care Cymru and Dr Hayley Hutchings presented State of the Nation – a report on the scoping research in Wales. This research is collecting evidence from all the Health Boards around Wales on dermatology services provided and the experience of patients. This ongoing research will be completed by the end of the month and a full report given then.

Girish Patel, Consultant Dermatologist at Hywel Dda and Honorary Senior Lecturer in the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, reported on the problems faced every day by his very small team in Hywel Dda and his creative plans to redesign the patients’ experience and pathways of care to cope with the volume.

The Consultant Plastic Surgeon Max Murison then gave an enthralling presentation on Laser Treatment of Scarring, illustrated with many amazing “before and after “photographs of patients who have received this innovative treatment.

Next, Jenny Hill, Chair of the Dermatology Council for Wales, gave a brief overview of the organisation and merit of the Welsh Forum and the regular meetings held, where individuals from all groups involved in dermatology meet and discuss current issues.

Lastly, Caroline Lewis – Policy Manager of the Major Welsh Conditions Team – updated the group on Welsh Government policies.

The meeting ended with Nick Ramsay summing up what we all present thought – what an amazing gathering together of expert knowledge, and a keen hope that we can go forward to make a difference to patients in Wales. The next meeting will be the AGM in January which we very much look forward to.

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