Diagnostic Guidance Tool

If you are uncertain about a diagnosis refer to the Skin lesion diagnostic tool for guidance and complete the diagnostic table. Once images are loaded click on the specific result to learn more about aetiology, clinical findings, and management options.

Skin Lesion Diagnostic tool


Considering making a referral?

Please refer via eRS by searching for ‘VHG Community Dermatology’. This is a Referral Assessment Service (RAS) so please follow the steps below in order to make a referral:

  1. Complete the community dermatology referral form
  2. Search for VHG Community Dermatology
  3. Select Book an Appointment
  4. Then Defer to Provider
  5. Ensure you have included all attachments (referral form, photographs where possible) before submitting the referral

For guidance on taking and sending good pictures click here

By including a completed dermatology referral form and attaching any photographs of your patients skin condition or lesion to the referral, ensures all the important information is available to get your patient on to the right treatment pathway, first time. It helps our dermatologists accurately review your patients presentation, leading to the right diagnosis and treatment plan.

We will cc you into any correspondence we have with your patients (via email or letter), so you are kept up to date with their treatment.

It is expected that the service will assess, treat, and manage any patient not requiring specialist level 4 services or requiring a 2WW referral. Please see below referral criteria for more detailed information


Referral criteria

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Mild alopecia areata
  • Scalp Conditions
  • Chronic or recurrent skin infections
  • Infestation(s)
  • Seboffheic dermatitis and dandruff
  • Sun Damage/Actinic Keratosis/Solar Keratosis
  • Bowens Disease
  • Nail Disorders
  • Keloid Scars – non-surgical intervention only
  • Pigmentary Conditions
  • Urticaria
  • Mild Inflammatory Skin Disease
  • Pityriasis versicolor; Pityriasis rosea
  • Low risk BCCs
  • Benign Skin Tumours (Lesions meeting ‘Procedures of Low Clinical Priority’ Criteria)



Send direct to 2WW

  • Suspected cancers
  • High Risk Basal Cell Carcinoma


Send to Secondary Care Dermatology service

  • Requiring the following treatments: DMARDs, Biologics, Patch Tests, Phototherapy, complex skin lesions
  • Scarring alopecia
  • Hydradenitis suppurativa


General Exclusions

(utilise https://www.pcds.org.uk/ for current evidenced based practice in primary care)

  • Patients not registered within Southport, Formby and South Sefton CCG
  • Mild Eczema
  • Mild Psoriasis
  • Telogen effluvium
  • Untreated Acne and Rosacea
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Warts and Verrucas
  • Keratosis where diagnosis is certain and no trial of treatment
  • Seborrheic warts unless bleeding or very troublesome
  • Procedures of low clinical priority – benign lesions not meeting criteria
  • Skin Lesions being removed or treated for cosmetic purpose
  • Leg Ulcer (Should be referred to specialist leg ulcer team)
  • Pruritus without rash


Skin Diversity descriptors

For guidance on describing skin conditions across a broad spectrum of skin tones please visit the Skin of colour in Dermatology Education from The British Association of Dermatologists


What happens after you refer?

We have a team of experienced consultant dermatologists ready to review all referrals and either:

  1. Provide advice and guidance back to you within 72 hours.
  2. Accept the referral into the community dermatology service and contact the patient to book an appropriate appointment.  The referrer will be updated on the outcome of treatment and any long-term treatment plan requirements.


What to expect once the patient has concluded their treatment

The referring clinician (e.g GP) will be sent an electronic discharge letter within 5 days of the patient being discharged, containing details of the treatment plan and reason for discharge. A copy of the discharge letter will also be sent to the patient.


Contact us

Calderdale service email: vitahealthgroup.calderdale.dermatology@nhs.net

Southport, Formby and South Sefton Dermatology services email:  vitahealthgroup.sefton.dermatology@nhs.net

Coventry and Warwickshire service email :vitahealthgroup.cw.dermatology@nhs.net  

Vita is an award-winning, CQC registered healthcare provider