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woensdag 1 november 2017

RCGP: Antibiotics must not be a 'catch all' for every illness, says RCGP as it supports new public awareness campaign...

Antibiotics must not be a 'catch all' for every illness, says RCGP as it supports new public awareness campaign to reduce society's 'dependency'

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Antibiotics are highly-effective drugs when used appropriately, but we have become too dependent on them as a society – and if we don't tackle this, it will have a terrible impact on patients' health globally.

"GPs are doing an excellent job at reducing antibiotics prescriptions, but we still come under considerable pressure from patients to prescribe them. We need to get to a stage where antibiotics are not seen as a 'catch all' for every illness – and patients need to understand that if their doctor does not prescribe antibiotics, it is because they genuinely believe that they are not the most appropriate treatment.

"When diseases become resistant to multiple antibiotics we face the prospect of no cure as there are no alternative drugs available. If the situation gets worse, relatively minor conditions or routine operations could become high-risk if serious infections cannot be treated.

"We also need to see much more research and investment ploughed into developing new antibiotics in order to tackle emerging infections – but this will certainly not be a quick-fix solution.

"The College has worked with Public Health England to develop the TARGET antibiotics toolkit, to support GPs and other prescribers in the appropriate prescribing of antibiotics, in the best interests of our patients now, and in the future."

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Patients should be reassured GPs are highly trained to prescribe statins, says RCGP in response to new BJGP research

She said: "Patients should be reassured that GPs are highly-trained to prescribe statins and base their decisions on the circumstances of the individual patient sitting in front of them, including physical, physiological and social factors that might be affecting their health.

This study is interesting because it looks at possible overtreatment and undertreatment, but it simplifies the true situation because it does not include any information about individual patient preferences, other health conditions, or data that was not accurately coded in patient records.

"This study emphasises the importance of calculating an accurate risk score which can then help healthcare professionals have an honest discussion with their patients about the benefits and risks which are unique to them.

"As with any drug, taking statin medication has potential side-effects, and taking any medication long-term is a substantial undertaking for patients who need to be monitored by healthcare professionals. Many don't want to take statins once they have learned all the facts – and GPs will respect patient choice.

"It's important that high-quality new research like this is always taken on board as guidelines for healthcare professionals are updated."

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RCGP reiterates urgent need for investment in response to stress in general practice survey

She said: "These are incredibly tough times for GPs throughout the UK.

"Our workload is increasing and becoming ever more complex, and we know that many GPs are putting their own health and wellbeing at risk - and burning out in some cases - as they do the best they can for their patients in increasingly difficult circumstances.

"Fit and healthy GPs are good for patients, but we are trying to do more and more on less and less, and there is a limit beyond which we can no longer guarantee that we are practising safely for our patients and protecting our own health and wellbeing. That is hugely stressful for caring professionals and their patients.

"What we are seeing now is the result of a decade of underinvestment in our family doctor service. Our workload has increased by 16% over the past seven years, our ageing population means people are living longer but with complex and multiple conditions, yet the number of GPs has remained largely stagnant.

"Being a GP can be an immensely satisfying and rewarding profession, as long as it is properly supported, but we desperately need more investment in our service including more GPs.

"NHS England's GP Forward View promises an extra £2.4billion per year for general practice, 5,000 extra GPs, and 5,000 extra members of the practice team by 2021. If this is delivered in full it will go a long way towards building a healthier workforce, which is good news for GPs and our patients. We need similar commitments in the devolved nations too."

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