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donderdag 20 juli 2017

RCGP: More specialist services in the community needed to tackle addiction, says RCGP

More specialist services in the community needed to tackle addiction, says RCGP

She said: "Addiction to any substance can have serious, negative consequences for our patients' health and wellbeing – so it's encouraging that so many patients taking benzodiazepines and other 'z-drugs' long term have said that they are keen to stop, in this study. We now need to see more services in the community – easily accessible by patients, as well as GPs and our teams - to make this possible.

"Benzodiazepines and other psychotropic drugs can be very effective when they are prescribed appropriately and in accordance with clinical guidelines; something that GPs are highly trained to do, taking into account the unique physical, psychological and social factors potentially affecting the health of the patient in front of us, and in conversation with them. 

"But they can also be very addictive – and withdrawal from benzodiazepines requires careful management by healthcare professionals, so it's vital that there are sufficient addiction management services available in the community to facilitate this, and at present this unfortunately is not the case. Some patients taking these drugs will be particularly vulnerable and will require additional specialist services.

"We would strongly support this study's calls for all patients who do become dependent on prescription drugs, benzodiazepines or otherwise, to have easy, consistent, but also confidential access to support – and for more guidance for healthcare professionals, such as the recently updated 'orange' guidelines, to appropriately manage prescriptions for benzodiazepines.

"NHS England's GP Forward View includes pledges for every GP practice to have access to a trained mental health therapist – this promise needs to be implemented urgently, if we are to deliver the best possible care to patients with mental health problems, including addiction."


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STPs must prioritise general practice to be effective, says RCGP

"STPs are crucial to delivering the GP Forward View in England, which should be a lifeline for struggling general practice. If they fail to prioritise general practice, it is only a matter of time before GPs and their teams collapse, with the rest of the NHS following closely behind.

"It is very disappointing that of the 25 projects identified for investment today, only five appear to increase direct investment in general practice services. As it stands, we are concerned that not all STPs can demonstrate that 15-20% of the Sustainability and Transformation Fund allocations are going to general practice. NHS England should ensure that further investment reflects the crucial role GPs and our teams are playing in local healthcare economies. 

"We welcome the inclusion of a GP domain in the new ranking of STPs, and we look forward to seeing the underpinning data to understand what this means in practice. NHS England must take urgent action against any STP which does not sufficiently address the sustainability and quality of general practice, including workforce and workload issues and working at the primary and secondary care interface. STPs must have meaningful and ongoing engagement with their local GPs but we know from our own network of ambassadors, whose role it is to engage with STPs, that it is a very mixed picture and this is not good enough."

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We must all take responsibility for 'dementia-proofing' our own health

"We welcome the broader, societal approach outlined in this research, and certainly the idea that we all need to take individual responsibility, usually by making relatively small lifestyle changes – at all stages of life - to 'dementia-proof' our own health, and that of our families. 

"It is clear that maintaining optimal physical and mental health and wellbeing is key, which stresses the importance of having a properly funded general practice service, and wider NHS. But also for having appropriate services in the community, such as smoking cessation services, schemes to promote physical activity, and services that could help stave off social isolation – and for GPs and our teams to have quick and easy access to these.

"Mental health, diabetes, and promoting physical activity and lifestyle are all clinical priorities for the College, and we are working with a number of partners to develop resources to support GPs and our community-based teams to deliver the best possible care for all our patients."


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