Is self referral to a dermatologist possible?

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I cannot get an appointment with my GP. They will not make appointments in advance and just keep telling me to phone at 8am each day to try and get one of that days appointments. Obviously there are lots of people trying to do this at the same time every day and it is impossible to get one. They do emergency appointments everyday and I explained to the receptionist that I have a mole on my face that I need to be checked and was turned away as the doctor would not class that as an emergency. This is obviously really stressful for me as I need a referral to a dermatologist but cannot get and appointment with the GP. 

I am almost certain I have a basal cell carcinoma near my mouth. I've had this for years but just thought it was a regular mole until I looked up more information about moles this week. It has grown in size and was itchy recently. It looks identical to lots of photos I have seen, shiny bubble like, skin coloured etc.

I can book a private dermatologist mole check but these are very expensive and the price of the removal of the mole is far too much for me. Is there a way to self refer through the NHS? Or if I phoned NHS24 are they able to make referrals? I am in Scotland.

  • Hi Lottypaws,

    Welcome to the online community. My name is Anne, and I am one of the nurses on the Support Line. I’m sorry to read you are having difficulty getting a GP appointment to discuss your concerns about a mole on your face. I understand this must be worrying and frustrating for you.

    We would advise you to contact the Practice Manager at your GP’s Surgery to discuss the difficulty you are having in getting an appointment. As you are experiencing changes in the mole, it is best to seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity. Although basal cell carcinomas (BCC) are often slow growing and unlikely to spread to other areas of the body, it is important to have the mole properly assessed. Your GP will decide whether or not you need to see a Specialist. Some GPs are able to diagnose and treat some types of skin cancer. Recognition of different types of BCC is essential as the therapy and follow-up will vary according to type.  If necessary, your GP can refer you to Dermatology.

    I’m afraid it is not possible to self-refer. The other option is to look at the Private healthcare website, although as you mentioned it can be very costly. Hopefully the Practice Manager can help you to arrange to be seen by your GP.

    If you feel you may benefit from talking things over with one of my colleagues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


    Take care for now,

    Anne - Cancer Information Nurse Specialist


    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.


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