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Referral and Access Policy for Patch Testing

The patch test service is offered to paediatric and adult patients suspected of having, or to exclude, an allergic contact dermatitis. Occupational cases are seen, when a workplace visit may be required.

Patients should be referred from primary care via the e-Referral Service to dermatology. Referrals are also accepted with a letter sent to the dermatology department from West Suffolk Hospital departments. Patients are seen in the dermatology clinic for initial assessment and discussion of the patch test process and the patch test series to be used is determined. A referral proforma is completed and sent to the patch test team, where it is reviewed by Dr Fraser-Andrews and Vicki Ayliffe, lead dermatology clinical nurse specialist.

Patients attend patch test clinics on day 1, 3 and 5. The BSCA standard series, and additional series if required, are applied. Paediatric patients are tested to a paediatric baseline series and additional series as required.

A patient information leaflet is available on the West Suffolk Hospital website which gives further information of the patch test service and process, and further patient information leaflets may be obtained at the website of the British Association of Dermatologists.