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donderdag 7 december 2017

RCGP: Missed appointments frustrating but also potential red flag warnings, says College

Missed appointments frustrating but also potential red flag warnings, says College

"We understand why GPs and our teams get frustrated when patients don't turn up to their appointments. It's wasteful for everyone, but in some cases this can be a warning sign that something significant is wrong with the patient and follow-up action is needed – and it may not always be a physical problem but sometimes a psychological or social issue.

"It is interesting, but perhaps not surprising, that the research found that frequently missing appointments correlates with a delay in them getting an appointment.

"Whilst practices will always try to offer appointments that are timely and convenient for patients, the current resource and workforce pressures we are facing, with GPs conducting more consultations than ever before to meet increasing demand, is making this more and more difficult.

"GP practices across the country are already implementing some successful schemes to reduce missed appointments, from text messaging reminders to better patient education and awareness posters detailing the unintended consequences of a patient not attending.

"But ultimately, we need NHS England's GP Forward View – promising £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5,000 more GPs – to be delivered in full and as a matter of urgency, and we need equivalent promises made and delivered in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so that we can deliver the care our patients need, whatever their circumstances, and wherever in the country they live."

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RCGP Wales responds to Welsh Government's health and social care hub investment

Dr Rebecca Payne, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Wales, said:

"RCGP Wales have called for a dedicated fund to improve the quality of GP surgeries. Our initial impression is that this investment is a positive step towards that.

"General practice is facing increasing demand due to an ageing population with more multiple long-term conditions. As more care will be delivered within the community closer to people's homes, this demand is only set to increase. It is therefore essential that we ensure that GP surgeries are fit for purpose.

"While we welcome the Cabinet Secretary's announcement, it is vital that those at the frontline are involved in the details of how this investment will be delivered. In addition all surgeries need to be able to access support to improve premises in order to better meet patient needs.

"We hope this investment goes some way to address one of the many challenges facing general practice. RCGP Wales looks forward to working with the Welsh Government to ensure that we can deliver high quality care in the community."

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Obese children face lifetime of health-related problems, says RCGP

"This alarming finding that that one in five young people are obese by the age of 14 should strike a chord in all of us. The stark truth is that overweight and obese children face a lifetime of health-related problems, including increased risk of conditions such as cancer and diabetes, if their weight is not addressed.

"As well as threatening the health of our future generations, obesity-related conditions cost the NHS billions every year, which affects everyone. The earlier we tackle this in our patients, the better.

"We must adopt a society-wide approach to encouraging healthy behaviours in the early years of a child's life, which will define their lifestyle choices, and their long-term health and wellbeing, into adulthood. This should include efforts to ensure all children have access to healthy diets, and adequate levels of physical activity.

"GPs and our teams do talk to parents about simple lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on their children's health. But the buck cannot lie with healthcare professionals alone; educators, food manufacturers and retailers, public health officials and others all have a part to play, particularly in targeting those children that this research has found most likely to be overweight and obese.

"The College has supported a tax on sugary drinks, but a levy on its own will not solve the obesity crisis – it must be part of a much broader child obesity strategy which contains measures to improve eating and snacking habits, and ways to increase levels of physical activity amongst children and young people."

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