HEALTH chiefs are asking patients to give their thoughts on how outpatient dermatology services are delivered in Bucks.

Last month the Bucks Free Press revealed how the county's dermatology services are under review – including the highly regarded 12-bed Wilkinson Ward at Amersham Hospital.

Bosses say the ward is often only half full, while improvements in technology mean more patients with skin conditions can be seen as day cases.

NHS Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Cluster is conducting the review, and this week launched a survey for patients.

Dr Geoff Payne, medical director, said: “We are thinking of putting some of our out-patient dermatology services into GP practices and other community settings so that they are closer to where our patients live, and offer them more choice about where they can receive their treatment.

“Specialist services will still continue to be provided in acute hospital settings.”

“As with any service development, it is important that we listen to what patients think, and so we want to hear the thoughts and experiences of those who use the current service, as well as their ideas about where it could be delivered in the future.”

The survey closes at midnight on Friday, December 23. The form can be picked up and dropped off in dermatology clinics or completed online through the link below.

Hospital bosses have said a proposal for the Wilkinson Ward has not yet been put forward.

But Dr John Wilkinson, a former senior consultant, who the ward was jointly named after, understands there are plans for “the inpatient unit to close and be replaced by a day care centre” (see link below).

Patients who regularly require an overnight stay fear they will have to go to a non-specialist ward at Stoke Mandeville.