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GP receives top accreditation to help other clinicians provide skin cancer service within primary care


A GP with a keen interest in treating skin cancer is now supporting other clinicians to diagnose and sometimes treat the condition in their practices.

Dr Jonathan Bertalot is the first in Wales to become a British Association of Dermatology (BAD) accredited GP with Extended Role (GPwER) in Skin Lesion Management. This means he can now act as a supervisor to other GPs who wish to apply for the same accreditation.

Dr Bertalot has worked as a Speciality Doctor within Dermatology over the last six years. He has a keen interest in skin cancer and has been providing a Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW) accredited teaching surgical course for local GPs to help them towards providing surgical services within their own practices.

This is not only helping to develop skills of GPs in the area but also helping to see more people closer to home.

Dr Bertalot, who is a partner at Coed y Glyn Surgery in Llangefni, said: “Over the last couple of years there has been a real appetite from GPs to provide a service within their own practices to diagnose skin cancer.

“During the lockdown period I ran an online teaching course which was very well attended with many GP trainees also taking part.

“GPs are ideally placed to diagnose and sometimes treat patients with suspected skin cancer as we are the first port of call.

“Many patients are often seen by their GP and then referred to the acute hospital for examination and a biopsy, which can cause anxiety for the patient during that waiting period.

“I can remove the mole in my practice or in a clinic at Ysbyty Alltwen, send away for biopsy and have the results within a couple of weeks. If a patient requires further investigation then I can refer onto secondary care.

“Following my accreditation I hope to encourage more GPs to be able to provide surgical services within their own practices which will provide a better patient experience as well as reduce pressure on the acute hospital.”

Dr Bertalot has extensive experience of skin cancer and has worked in Australia for a period of time working alongside other clinicians to learn more about the disease.  

“Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, and the number of people diagnosed with the condition has risen steeply since the 1970s.

“It is always important to be sun aware, I know we are currently in the winter months but as we head into the warmer months it’s important to remember to always use sun cream and never allow yourself to burn.

“Skin cancer is treatable but early diagnosis is key. Your first port of call should be your GP if you notice something that doesn’t go away within a couple of weeks or if you are concerned about any new or changing moles,” added Dr Bertalot.