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zaterdag 25 februari 2017

RCGP: Real need to make healthy eating easier and more affordable, says RCGP

Real need to make healthy eating easier and more affordable, says RCGP
She said: "We'd love to see all our patients eating more fruit and veg – and reaping the potential health benefits as a result – and this research supports other work suggesting that we probably should all be aiming for more than the 'five a day' initiative suggests. But we also need to be realistic, and as GPs we need to tailor our advice to the patient in front of us based on their individual and family circumstances. For some patients we know that even 5 portions of fruit or veg a day might not currently be achievable or affordable, saying 10 to them might be overwhelming and switch them off completely.
"There are lots of great ways for people to buy and cook fresh food more cheaply – and this study emphasises the real need to make this easier and more affordable because at the moment cheaper, unhealthier snacks are simply too commonplace. It also reiterates just how important it is that as a society we do more to encourage our patients to lead healthier, more active lifestyles generally."

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82% of NI population worried political instability will delay essential healthcare reform

The value of health care services provided in the community by general practitioners was acknowledged in the survey results and 84% of people who use GP services agreed that we need more GPs in Northern Ireland to ensure people get the health care they need.

When asked about what the top priority should be for the new government, healthcare topped the list – with almost twice as many people prioritising health (46%) than the economy (25%).

RCGPNI has been calling on the government to take immediate action to address the current crisis facing general practice. Through its manifesto, RCGPNI is urging political parties to put patients first and commit to ensuring that everyone gets the health and social care services they deserve within their local community.

The six point manifesto asks the new Assembly to:

  • Commit necessary funding to general practice
  • Address the shortfall in the general practice workforce
  • Give GPs the time they need to focus on patient care
  • Support general practitioners to manage their own health and wellbeing
  • Improve GP premises
  • Enhance patient involvement in health and social care planning

Despite recent commitments made to address challenges in general practice by accepting the recommendations from the GP-led Care Working Group report, no additional resources have been allocated to implement these. RCGPNI is urging politicians to commit to convening an emergency summit, immediately following the election, to address the current pressures in general practice.

Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners NI, Dr Grainne Doran, said: "Until we have a fully functioning government in place, health and social care reform will continue to be put on hold. In the meantime, general practice services continue to deteriorate and if urgent action is not taken, patient care will suffer.

"Health and social care – including investing in general practice - must be the top priority for political parties. Our poll results have shown that it is certainly the top priority for the population – with almost twice as many people saying health should be the top priority for the government, compared to the economy. The wishes and needs of patients must be heard.

"We no longer have the luxury of time – we need to see urgent action to address primary care pressures, immediately following the election."


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GPs doing a good job at having difficult conversations about weight management with patients, says RCGP

"GPs understand that combatting obesity is complicated, and there are many reasons, both physical and psychological, why patients become overweight.

"We are highly trained to have non-judgemental conversations with patients about sensitive issues, and to take into account physical, psychological and social factors when making a diagnosis and offering advice.

"The fact that these results show that the majority of patients are not offended when their GP brings up their weight in a consultation shows that family doctors are doing a good job at approaching these important and necessary, but often very difficult, conversations with tact and sensitivity – yet not shying away from them.

"They also support evidence that shows patients actually expect and want GPs to ask about, and advise on, measures to improve their health and wellbeing.

"Bringing up a patient's weight during a consultation is absolutely not about 'fat-shaming'. It's about helping our patients, and wider society, recognise that physical activity and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for everyone, in order to maintain good physical and mental health and wellbeing.

"Physical Activity and Lifestyle is a clinical priority for the College and we are working to develop resources for GPs and their teams to support them to have what can be challenging conversations with patients about their weight, and encourage them to take the necessary steps to a live long and healthy lives."


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