We bring you the latest news from the healthcare about the health care in the United Kingdom.

donderdag 1 februari 2018

RCGP: Online consultations need careful consideration, says RCGP

Online consultations need careful consideration, says RCGP

"Many GP practices are already offering online consultations in some form, and we know that they are convenient for some patients. However, we also know – and this research backs this up – that they don't necessarily help to alleviate workload pressures on GPs, or improve access to general practice services for patients.

"Online and telephone consultations can be great for some patients, but they won't be suitable for others – and if practices do choose to offer them, then it should be as one way to access GP services, not the only way.

"We agree with the researchers that any practices thinking about alternatives to face-to-face consultations should do so after careful consideration of the implications for the practice and patients, and to this end the College is developing guidance on this. If this route to consulting with patients is being considered by a practice, practice policies must be developed carefully, agreed by all in the practice, and followed to ensure patient safety."

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GP consultation room is a 'safe space' for LGBT patients, says RCGP

She said: "Patients should never be made to feel as though they have to disclose their sexual orientation to their GP, if they don't want to. But at the same time, they should be reassured that anything they discuss with their GP is strictly confidential, and that the consultation room is safe space to talk about things which could be affecting their health and wellbeing.

"GPs are highly-trained to consider any physical, psychological and social factors potentially affecting their patients' health, so it's always helpful to know as much as possible about the patient in front of us when making a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan, and that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

"Ultimately, we want all of our patients to feel comfortable accessing medical care from their GP practice when they need it – and if our LGBT patients feel inhibited to do this, as this research suggests many are, then we need to work out why, and take measures to address this.

"The College has also worked with Public Health England to develop e-learning courses on LGB issues in primary care, which has been updated this month and includes discussion of ways to make practices more accessible for patients.

"RCGP Northern Ireland has also issued specific guidance for members in NI on delivering care to LGB patients, and separate guidance for trans patients."

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'Substantial efforts' needed to retain more GPs, says RCGP

She said: "If more GPs are leaving the profession, for whatever reason, than entering it then the service we deliver to more than a million patients a day is in jeopardy. We need to see the substantial efforts being made to recruit more GPs matched with initiatives to retain existing GPs in our workforce.

"GPs and our teams are working incredibly hard to deliver the best care they can for patients, but for many the combination of chronic underfunding, severe staff shortages, and escalating workload has become too much. 

"Over the last seven years, GP workload has increased by at least 16%, but the share of the overall NHS budget general practice receives is less than it was a decade ago, and our workforce has not risen at pace with demand. 

"Leaving the profession will not be a decision taken lightly by GPs, and many won't want to leave. We need to look at ways to keep experienced GPs, who are highly-trained and have huge amounts of knowledge to impart, in the profession for as long as possible – not just for the benefit of our patients, but less experienced GPs who can learn lots from them.

"Being a GP can be a hugely satisfying, rewarding and life-long career, but only so long as we have the resources, support and workforce we desperately need.

"That's why we need to see NHS England's GP Forward View, which promises 5,000 more GPs, 5,000 other members of the practice team, and an extra £2.4bn a year for general practice, delivered, in full, as a matter of urgency."

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