All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin (APPGS) was established in 1994. It has a large and active membership including Members of Parliament from all political parties, Members of the House of Lords, health professionals, patient groups and pharmaceutical companies. The Group was set up as a result of a campaign to raise awareness of skin issues in Parliament by the National Eczema Society. The Society, along with other patient organisations and industry, provide support for the Skin Care Campaign, which is an organisation that brings together all the UK national skin patient support groups. The Skin Care Campaign, amongst other bodies (Including the BAD), provides resources and funding to support hte Secretariat of the APPGS.
The APPGS is seeking progress on a number of areas:
increasing understanding of the nature, extent, causes and problems associated with all kinds of skin disease;
working to improve delivery of treatment to those with skin conditions;
working to educate Government as to the ways in which treatment management can be improved and made more efficient;
examining other socio-economic and environmental factors in skin disease, such as occupational factors.
More money is not necessarily always the answer - often it is a question of identifying problems and using imaginative and thoughtful solutions to solve them. This is what the group seeks to achieve.
The Group holds a small number of exceptionally well-attended meetings each year. These offer MPs and others the opportunity to understand more about different types of skin disease. Fifteen per cent of all GP patient episodes are skin related - it comprises one of the greatest calls on GP time and yet training for GPs in this area is scarce, if existent at all.
51 Holland Street
Dermatology Council for England
The Dermatology Council for England (DCE) is a national umbrella body with over 87 members representing 71 different organisations. The membership has representation from the recognised dermatology patient support groups as well as from medical, nursing, and political groups and the pharmaceutical industry. Membership of the council is on a voluntary basis and there are no paid employees. The council functions under the leadership of an elected Chair and Secretary.
The group actively campaigns to ensure the best standards of care for patients with dermatological conditions. In today’s fast changing healthcare landscape, the patient’s voice must be heard. Too often, patients are presenting to their GP with a skin related problem, only to find that their GP is lacking sufficient knowledge of their condition. Skin related conditions account for nearly a quarter of the average GP caseload, and yet still there is no compulsory dermatology training for primary care health professionals. The DCE is working with stakeholders to ensure that these issues (and others) are addressed at a national level.
Over the last few years we have seen some progress in these areas, but there is much still to be done.
As a national umbrella body, we are determined to engage with policy makers in a constructive manner, offering recommendations, advice and guidance where appropriate. The size and diversity of our membership is reflected in this guidance and in all of our activities.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the DCE or if you have any questions regarding the activities of the group, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our contacts page.
Mr Geoff Holmes (Chair)
Dermatology Council for England
4 Fitzroy Square