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maandag 13 februari 2017

RCGP: Perinatal mental health is a clinical priority for the College, says RCGP

Perinatal mental health is a clinical priority for the College, says RCGP

She said: "It's vital that new mothers do not put off seeing their GP because they think any adverse feelings they are having after pregnancy are 'normal', so it's encouraging that NICE is acknowledging this.

"While attitudes to mental health issues do seem to be improving in society as a whole, unfortunately mothers with mental health problems are often reluctant to raise these issues for fear of being stigmatised or judged as 'bad' mothers by healthcare professionals, and fears that social services might be called in to investigate.

"It's incredibly hard for GPs to explore all the physical and psychological factors affecting our patients' health and to offer contraceptive advice within the constraints of the standard consultation. But the routine six-week postnatal appointment can be a great opportunity for GPs and new mothers to discuss issues around mental health and wellbeing – and begin to address any resulting concerns.

"Perinatal mental health is a clinical priority for the College, and we have developed resources to support GPs and our teams to deliver the best possible mental health care for our patients during and after pregnancy."


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Surgery times don't give the full story of what's happening in general practice, says RCGP

"These figures don't give the full story of what's happening in general practice – they only take into account planned surgery times, not the times that the practice is actually open and providing care.

"Obviously, a large part of a GP's work is seeing patients in face to face consultations, but there is a lot more involved in day to day general practice – and just because actual surgeries aren't taking place, it doesn't mean patient care isn't being delivered via telephone or online consultations, or by making home visits.

"There are also vital administrative duties, such as hospital referrals, arranging prescriptions, responding to requests for reports and information, and processing test results that need to be dealt with during the working day, which is growing ever longer for GPs and our teams due to the intense pressures we face as we try to cope with increasing patient demand and complexity.

"GPs across the country are working incredibly hard to deliver 1.3m patient consultations every day – recent research has shown that our workload has risen 16% over the last seven years, yet funding for general practice has decreased, and the number of GPs has not risen in step.

"We urgently need the pledges made in NHS England's GP Forward View – for £2.4bn extra a year for general practice and 5000 more GPs by 2020 – to be implemented in full, so that we can continue to provide the care our patients need in a way that is safe for both them, GPs and our teams."


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Prescribing any drug must be a decision made in conversation between GP and patient, says RCGP

"The benefits of using long term medication to lower the risk of developing cancer are becoming clearer as new research findings become available – and it's important that this informs official clinical guidelines, and that GPs and our teams are aware of them.

"But with clinical guidelines rightly being updated so frequently and given the incredibly broad spectrum of knowledge GPs need to have, it's understandable that family doctors often take cues from our specialist colleagues in hospitals – so improved communication channels between primary and secondary care would certainly be helpful.

"Ultimately, any decision to prescribe drugs to patients must be the result of a full and frank conversation between doctor and patient, taking into account the latest clinical guidelines, considering all the positives and negatives, but also based on a patient's unique circumstances and family history in order to achieve the best possible health outcome for that patient.

"Cancer is an enduring priority for the College, in partnership with Cancer Research UK, and we have developed a wide range of resources to support GPs in the timely identification of cancer, and keep up to date with the latest clinical guidelines and information in this area." 


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