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dinsdag 28 februari 2017

RCGP: Implications of lost documents serious for GPs, NHS and patients, says RCGP

Implications of lost documents serious for GPs, NHS and patients, says RCGP

"We know that a lot of our members have been adversely affected by important paperwork being misplaced during transportation – the implications of this are serious for general practice, the wider NHS and patients.

"It isn't just about the huge amounts of time and work that practice staff have had to put in to trying to resolve this – although at a time of great pressures facing general practice, this has certainly been unhelpful - but the information contained in these documents is vital for our patients' health and wellbeing, and losing it could potentially pose a risk to their safety, not to mention a potential serious breach of their confidentiality.  

"Patient care and safety must always be the number one priority when awarding private companies contracts for any work in the health service. What we are seeing here is companies bidding for, and being awarded, contracts for work that is much more complex that they originally thought.

"We must learn lessons from this – as we must learn from any errors - and ensure that any initiatives to increase efficiency in the NHS are undertaken with caution, and in the long term best interests of general practice, the wider NHS, and our patients."


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GPs are trained in all aspects of mental health, including eating disorders, says RCGP

"Eating disorders can have severe consequences for patients, and GPs - who will often be the first port of call for patients when seeking medical advice whether specifically about their eating disorder, or not - take them very seriously.

"It is simply not true that GPs are not trained to identify and treat patients with eating disorders – as with all other aspects of mental health, eating disorders are included in the comprehensive GP curriculum, which all GPs must demonstrate competence of before being able to practise independently as a GP in the UK.

"It is also not the case that NICE guidelines recommend immediate referral for all patients GPs suspect of having an eating disorder, as in some cases the condition can be dealt with effectively in primary care. Some patients, for a number of reasons, might not want a referral and in these cases the GP will respect their wishes. So the findings of Beat's survey regarding referral are neither surprising nor inappropriate - they are actually more indicative of GPs' understanding of and sensitivity towards patient choice and the elephant in the room; a severe lack of appropriate services in the community for GPs to refer patients on to.

"The figures highlight the intense pressures that GPs are under. We are highly trained to take into account the physical, psychological and social factors affecting a patient when making a diagnosis, and developing a treatment plan – with complex patients, and mental health conditions are almost always very complex, this simply isn't possible within the constraints of the standard 10-minute consultation, particularly if the eating disorder was not the reason the patient visited their GP in the first place.

"More, appropriate training that can help us to deliver the best possible care for our patients is always welcome, and the College has long called for GP training to be extended to four years to include a mandatory specialist-led placement in mental health – and today's figures support this call. In the meantime, mental health will continue to be an enduring priority for the RCGP and we have developed a number of e-learning courses, including one on eating disorders with Anorexia Bulimia Care. We are also working with Mind to develop resources, including a forthcoming Top Tips document on eating disorders, to encourage GPs to incorporate mental health, including eating disorders, into their continued professional development.

"Ultimately what is necessary is for substantially more investment in general practice and more GPs so we can offer longer consultations to those patients who really need them – and a greater quantity and variety of mental health services in the community that would be of great benefit to our patients with eating disorders. NHS England's GP Forward View has pledged that every GP practice will have access to a trained mental health therapist by 2020 - and we are calling for this to be implemented as a matter of urgency."


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RCP report is an important snapshot of the pressures facing the NHS, says College

"The NHS was founded with one overriding purpose – to deliver patient care, free at the point of need to anyone who needs it. GPs and other healthcare professionals have been at the heart of delivering this important service for nearly 70 years, and it remains essential that we protect it, for the benefit of our patients for years to come.

"We thank our colleagues at the Royal College of Physicians for this important snapshot of the intense pressures currently facing our health service, which threatens the care we are able to provide our patients – but also highlights the excellent patient care occurring, right across the NHS, despite these pressures.

"As our population both grows and ages, patient demand is escalating – and with the vast majority of patient contacts in the NHS delivered in the community in primary care, GPs and our teams know only too well what it is like to work on professionalism and goodwill alone as we strive to deliver the best patient care possible in incredibly difficult circumstances.

"A robust general practice service, with enough GPs and practice team members, alleviates pressures right across the health service. We hope this report encourages the Government to review funding of the whole of health and social care and specifically to implement the pledges in NHS England's GP Forward View - including £2.4bn extra a year and 5,000 more full time equivalent GPs by 2020 – as a matter of urgency, so that we can keep the NHS afloat, and deliver the care our patients need and deserve."


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