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vrijdag 30 juni 2017

RCGP: Routine GP services, seven days a week, only wanted by small proportion of patients, says RCGP

Routine GP services, seven days a week, only wanted by small proportion of patients, says RCGP
She said: "It's saddening to hear that so many patients are not satisfied with the services they are now getting from the NHS, particularly as we know how much our patients love the health service, and historically satisfaction rates have been much higher.
 
"Specifically in general practice, GPs are consistently ranked amongst the most trusted healthcare professionals in the NHS; according to the latest GP Patient Survey over 90% had trust and confidence in the last GP they saw. But we also know that despite our best efforts patients are waiting longer and longer for appointments – and that this is frustrating for GPs and our teams, as well as patients. 
 
"Workload in general practice has risen 16% over the last seven years according to recent research, but over the same period resources for our service have declined, and our workforce has not risen in step with patient demand.
 
"What's more, general practice makes the vast majority of patient contact in the NHS, for a small percentage of the overall budget. GPs and our teams keep the rest of the NHS afloat, so when we are under pressure and can't cope this reverberates right across the health service.
 
"We urgently need NHS England's GP Forward View, including promises for £2.4bn extra a year for general practice, 5,000 more GPs and 5,000 more practice team members, to be delivered in full as a priority, so that we can deliver the care our patients need and deserve - and alleviate pressures right across the health service."

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Antidepressant figures could indicate reduced mental health stigma in society, says RCGP

"These figures look at medications dispensed in the community, not necessarily prescribed by GPs or other prescribers in primary care – but when GPs do prescribe antidepressants, it will have been after a full and frank discussion with the patient in front of them, based on their unique circumstances, and taking into account the physical, psychological and social factors potentially affecting their health.

 

"While at face value the rise might seem alarming, it could also be indicative of better identification and diagnosis of mental health conditions across healthcare – and reducing stigma associated with mental health in society, leading to more people with mental health conditions seeking medical assistance. Both would be positive steps forward as we strive for parity of esteem between physical and mental health.

 

"Antidepressants can be effective drugs when used appropriately and they do help a lot of patients. Nevertheless, no doctor wants their patients to be reliant on medication, and where possible we will always explore alternative treatments, such as talking therapies – but there is a severe lack of these services available in the community, where they could be of great benefit to patients. We need more of these services in the community and we need all GPs to have better, quicker access to them.

 

"NHS England's GP Forward View pledged for every GP practice to have access to one of 3,000 new mental health therapists. We need this, and its other promises - including £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5,000 more GPs - to be delivered as a matter of urgency, so that we can continue to provide the best possible mental health care to our patients."

 

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Spike in summer hay fever cases, show RCGP figures
The figures reveal a spike in the number of patients seeing their GP for hay fever type symptoms - or allergic rhinitis - since the start of June, with family doctor visits more than tripling from 11,353 to 37,568* in England. The equivalent of 20.25 to 67.00 consultations per 100,000 patients.
 
This represents a huge 230% increase. 
 
Figures from the College's RSC, which monitors trends in diseases through patient consultations at GP surgeries, also show a significant increase compared to the same time last year – which was lower than average -  when 25,097 people visited their GP presenting with hay fever in England (the equivalent of 44.76 per 100,000 patients). 
 
Mid-June traditionally marks the start of the hay fever season as pollen is released into the air, causing misery for millions across the country. Whilst in line with the average five-year trend, rates are at their highest for 2017 so far – something that could have been intensified by recent high temperatures.  
 
Most affected are children aged five to 14 years, followed by people between 15 and 24 years – with the former age group experiencing symptoms up to more than two and half times that of other age groups.
 
Hay fever traditionally develops in school-age children during the teenage years and these groups are more likely to visit a GP with hay fever symptoms rather than using over the counter treatments.
 
Caused by an allergy to pollens, hay fever is estimated to affect about 1 in 10 people in the UK. Grass pollen is the most common cause and tends to affect people every year from around May to July. Tree pollens tend to affect people from March to May and weed pollens from early spring to early autumn.
 
Symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes, and are caused by the immune system reacting to the pollen. Cells on the lining of the nose and eyes release histamine and other chemicals, causing inflammation in the nose (rhinitis) and eyes (conjunctivitis). Sometimes the sinuses and throat can also be affected.
 
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP said: "Each year, seasonal hay fever can cause untold misery to thousands of people across the country. The weather may have taken a turn for the worse, but we are still seeing a steep rise in allergic rhinitis presentations in our surgeries – the highest so far in 2017 and higher compared to this time last year, which was surprisingly low.
 
"Hay fever can be awful but the discomfort should only be temporary and there should be no long-term ill effects. Whilst in some cases it may be necessary to see a doctor, especially if the symptoms persist, there are many anti-histamine medications that can be bought over the counter inexpensively at your pharmacist that should provide effective relief.
 
"Patients that suffer from hay fever can also take simple steps to help miminise their exposure to pollen, such as wearing a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses, and to applying Vaseline to nostrils to help trap pollen particles."

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