Clinical photography

What are clinical photographs and why are they taken?

Clinical photographs are to aid diagnosis, accurately record the progress of conditions and their responses to treatment, for research, confidential patient medical records, teaching of other healthcare professionals and publication.

Standardised views are taken of clinical conditions in line with guidelines from our professional body, the Institute of Medical Illustrators, allowing us to accurately record clinical conditions.

Example types of clinical photography:

  • Serial photography – performed on a patient over a period of time to highlight improvement, deterioration, response to treatment or pre and post-operative views
  • Diagnostic photography – of rare or unknown conditions to be viewed by other clinicians for second opinions, in order for a correct diagnosis
  • Personal injury / medico-legal photography – carried out for Child Protection and clients of Solicitors, for use as evidence in court
  • Scientific photography – infra-red, ultra violet and dermatoscopic photography of specific conditions (mainly dermatological)
  • Surgical photography – during operations to document techniques for teaching or publication
  • Other specialist photography services

Service times and locations

At the Lister Hospital, we offer a continuous, no appointment necessary (unless a complex, private or lengthy request) service for out-patients from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. We also have dedicated sessions at QEII and Hertford County Hospitals, where an appointment is required.

Wherever possible, in order to obtain the best record, photography will be undertaken in our purpose designed studio. However, if a patient is unable to come to the studio, due to being an in-patient or feeling unwell etc. please contact us to arrange for a clinical photographer to visit the ward, theatre or clinic.

What happens once the photographs are taken?

The photographs form part of a patient’s confidential medical record, but if consented can be used for teaching or publication. They are stored on the Trust image management system – WABA, which can only be accessed by authorised clinicians, with the appropriate level of access as registered users. Clinicians, please contact us to arrange an account.

Private Patients / Medico Legal requests

Non-NHS patients can be referred for clinical photography by any clinician. Please ensure that the patient is aware that they may be responsible for meeting the full costs for this service. If you have access to one of our request forms, please complete as normal and ask the patient to phone us direct for an appointment. If you do not have a request form, simply phone or email us direct to provide a referral letter.

Referrals from solicitors will only be undertaken with a formal letter / email of instruction for their client and a commitment to meet all costs.

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Hospital Switchboard: 01438 314333
Extension & Bleep: 4019
Direct Dial: 01438 284019
Email: christine.peachment@nhs.net

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