Skin cancer

QVH is the largest specialist plastic surgery unit in the country, with 18 plastic surgery consultants as well as five maxillofacial and three ophthalmic surgeons, supported by over 30 junior surgeons. We are the largest provider of skin surgery services in the south east, caring for patients with lumps and bumps, moles, sun damage and skin cancers. Our team has the highest levels of experience and expertise, treating over 3,000 patients every year.

Our internationally-known Melanoma and Skin Cancer Unit (MASCU) is the only unit in the region providing the complete range of specialist skin cancer services including medical treatments with immunotherapy, cryotherapy, curettage, simple excisions, skin grafting, local flaps, CO2 laser treatment and the complex management of metastatic disease. It is the designated tertiary referral centre for all skin cancers across the region and is recognised by the Kent, Sussex and Surrey Cancer Networks.

Our Macmillan Skin Cancer Nurse Specialists, Maggie Curtis and Julie Anthony, act as a point of contact for patients, relatives, carers and other healthcare professionals and coordinate care and psychological support for patients receiving skin cancer treatment at QVH.

The surgeons listed to the right are those with skin cancer as their main area of expertise. Other QVH plastic surgeons also treat skin cancer patients where appropriate. We also have a team of supporting professionals including pathologists, psychological therapists, multi-disciplinary team coordinators and dedicated MASCU secretaries.

The team can be contacted on 01342 306660.

Recent survey results

Clinical effectiveness

Complete excision rates in basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
BCC is the most common cancer in Europe, Australia and the USA. Management usually involves surgical excision, photodynamic therapy (PDT), curettage or immuno-modulators or a combination. Surgical excision is highly effective with a recurrence rate at 2%. Complete surgical excision is important to reduce recurrence rates. Sometimes this is not possible because of the size or position of the tumour. Sometimes the incomplete excision will only become evident with histological examination of the excised tissue. The high rate of complete excision for QVH is particularly pleasing as 40% of our referrals are from dermatologists who refer more complex cases.

Measurement: Audit of two months activity (286 BCC cases)
QVH target: 100%
Benchmark: 88.9-95.3% (published literature)
2017/18: 93.5%
2016/17: 90.2%
2015/16: 96.8%
2014/15: 94.1%
2013/14: 92.5%

Complete excision rates in malignant melanoma
Melanomas are excised with margins of healthy tissue around them, depending on the type, size and spread of tumour. These margins are set by national and local guidelines and each case is discussed in a multidisciplinary team (MDT). Sometimes total excision is not possible because of the health of the patient, or the size, position or spread of the tumour, and the MDT may recommend incomplete excision.

Measurement: Audit of two months activity (42 Melanoma cases)
QVH target: 100%
Benchmark: 75% (NICE guidance)
2017/18: 94.6%
2016/17: 94.4%
2015/16: 97%
2014/15: 96.1%
2013/14: 96.5%

Full details of our patient safety, patient experience and clinical effectiveness measures are published in our annual Quality Report. You can find the latest version here.

Patient information leaflets