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woensdag 15 november 2017

RCGP: Denying patients NHS treatment based on lifestyle factors is not conducive to a good doctor-patient relationship

Denying patients NHS treatment based on lifestyle factors is not conducive to a good doctor-patient relationship

"As frontline GPs, we fully understand the struggles of the NHS and that funding decisions are becoming increasingly difficult, but patients go to see their GP expecting non-judgemental care and it's important that their trust in us is not compromised.

"To prevent patients from receiving NHS treatment that they would benefit from is not the solution and goes against the founding principles of our health service. Measures such as breathalysing smokers are extreme and not conducive to a good doctor-patient relationship.

"We always encourage patients to take responsibility for their own health and will work with them to ensure that if they need surgery, they can go into it knowing they are as healthy as they can be.

"GPs and our teams work very hard with patients to improve their health through lifestyle changes, and initiatives such as smoking cessation clinics have been hugely successful.

"Our best chance at making sure GPs can carry on supporting patients in this way is to ensure general practice has the investment it needs.

"That's why we need NHS England's GP Forward View - which promises £2.4billion extra a year for general practice, 5,000 more GPs, and 5,000 more members of the practice team - delivered, in full, as a matter of urgency."

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College says GPs are highly-trained to prescribe multiple medications in response to new study

She said: "As a result of the advancements in medicine –  including the availability of better drugs and improved clinical research and guidelines – it is a great success of the NHS that patients are living longer. But as people live longer it's also crucial that they are living with a good quality of life, and they're only being prescribed the medication they need.

"More and more of our patients are living with multiple, long term conditions, some of which require several medications to control, so there are many cases where patients with complex conditions are quite appropriately taking five or more medicines.

"Patients should be reassured that GPs are highly trained to take into account the physical, psychological and social factors of the patient in front of them. What is important is that the decision to prescribe multiple medications will be made according to the best evidence available, tailored to their individual needs, and that this is reviewed regularly.

"GPs follow strict prescribing rules and they will also carefully consider that the drugs work safely in combination with other medications that the patient may be using and will also undertake regular medication reviews in consultation with their patients."

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New research reinforces value GPs place on the continuity of care says College

She said: "We have known for decades that our patients value continuity of care – and GPs value continuity of care with our patients too, particularly our older patients and those living with long-term conditions. This research provides clear evidence to reinforce this.

"General practice is striving to provide this to the best of our ability, but we are currently facing intense resource and workforce pressures, and our patients are already waiting longer and longer for appointments, so sometimes it is simply not possible.

"GPs and their teams are doing all they can to ensure the level of care remains as high as possible during these tough times.

"GP practices across the country are developing innovative solutions to balance good access with continuity of care to those who need it most. In some practices, for example, patients might not always see the same GP, but they will see one of a small team, all of whom will have built relationships with patients, and all of whom will have access to their full medical records.

"One of the most rewarding things about working in general practice is building strong relationships with our patients over time – this is unique in medicine, and it is really important that we try and retain that.

"Ultimately, we urgently need NHS England's GP Forward View – which promises an extra £2.4bn a year for general practice and 5,000 more GPs by 2020 – delivered in full, so that we have the resources and workforce to provide the care our patients need and deserve, tailored to their specific needs."

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