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10 June 2019

Dermatology team win at British Medical Journal Awards

A team from the St John’s Institute of Dermatology has won Dermatology Team of the Year at the ‘NHS Oscars’

XP team at BMJ awards

The British Medical Journal Awards are the UK's leading medical awards. They recognise the incredible work carried out by healthcare teams around the country.

There are 14 categories covering all areas of research Anaesthesia & Perioperative Medicine to Stroke. The team from St John’s Institute of Dermatology received the dermatology team of the year award.

The team was recognised for providing outstanding care to patients with Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP).  People with the condition are not able to repair the damage caused to their skin by the ultraviolet (UV) part of daylight.  They can burn easily and can also develop eye, nerve or brain problems, and are more likely to develop skin cancers.

The service was set up by Dr Robert Sarkany, in 2010 with support from the XP patient group. As part of the service, patients attend an annual multidisciplinary clinic where they can see a dermatologist, dermatological surgeon, ophthalmologist, neurologist, neuropsychologist, geneticist, and specialist nurse.

The specialist nurse also visits the patient at home and gives advice, for example on fitting ultraviolet protective window films as a preventative measure. The service has reduced the number of appointments and the amount of unnecessary surgery. The team has created a programme of translational research which is improving patient care and clinical outcomes.

The National XP team is honoured to have been awarded the British Medical Journal dermatology team of the year award. “The XP team is a diverse group of nurses and doctors from six specialities, laboratory scientists, research academics and patient representatives. What unites us is a commitment to making life easier for patients and their families. The team’s work is leading to patients having a longer life expectancy.

Dr Bob Sarkany

Sandra Webb, a founder of the XP Support Group, recently described the tragedy of children with XP dying of skin cancer before the service was established, and how no child with XP in Britain has died of skin cancer since the service started.

This award is recognition of the dedication and ingenuity of the clinicians and academics in the XP team. This is a classic example of how innovative services and translational research are supported and can thrive in the unique collaborative atmosphere provided by King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.”

Dr Bob Sarkany