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

donderdag 12 april 2018

RCGP: Taxes on soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco in UK would help offset the burden of chronic diseases, says College

Taxes on soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco in UK would help offset the burden of chronic diseases, says College

"Lifestyle and environmental factors are leading causes of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and liver disease, which we know can be prevented or better treated through addressing diet, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol consumption and psychosocial factors.

"With cases of multimorbidity and chronic disease rising globally, we need to look at sensible public health measures to help manage patients' physical health as well as ensuring we are reducing the long-term pressures on our national health service here in the UK.

"The College has long supported taxes on soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco to help offset the burden of chronic diseases on the UK population.

"Today's findings from The Lancet provide helpful further evidence that taxes on these unhealthy products are an effective response to combatting higher rates of chronic diseases without disproportionately affecting people from lower socio-economic backgrounds so we need to ensure this new evidence is reflected in future health policies going forward.

"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 in encouraging patients to make simple changes to help them lead healthier lifestyles."

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Tax on sugary drinks a positive move forward in tackling obesity epidemic, says College

"The College has consistently championed a levy on sugary drinks, and we are really pleased to see this finally coming into play today.

"Obesity can have a devastating impact on our patients' long-term health and wellbeing, but we are particularly concerned about the increasing rates of obesity in children and young people – this is simply setting them up for a life plagued with serious health conditions, including increased risks of a range of cancers as well as diabetes and heart disease.

"A tax on sugary drinks is a positive move forward in tackling this obesity epidemic – but also reversing the shocking increasing levels of tooth decay in younger people- and we also warmly welcome commitments by supermarkets to reduce sugar consumption in their own label soft drinks.

"We hope these measures will go some way in encouraging people to cut down on the amount of sugar they are consuming, but a levy on its own will not solve the obesity crisis - it must be part of a broader strategy which targets patients' overall lifestyle changes including diet and exercise.

"GPs do our best to talk with our patients about simple lifestyle improvements that can have a positive impact on their health. Physical Activity and Lifestyle is a clinical priority for the Royal College of GPs and we are working to develop resources to support GPs and our teams to have what can be incredibly sensitive conversations with patients about managing their weight and living healthier lifestyles.

"But the but the buck cannot lie with healthcare professionals alone. We need a society-wide approach with schools, workplaces, local authorities, food and drinks manufacturers and public health bodies all playing a part.

"We also need to ensure that high-quality, cost-effective services that can help people change their lifestyle habits, such as smoking cessation programmes that people can self refer to, provision of green spaces, and a free supply of fresh drinking water in public places, are available to those who need them."

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College takes the lead in advising patients on online consultation safety
  • Will they see me whatever my health problem, or exclude me if I have complex health needs?
  • Will they have access to my full medical record, so that they know my medical history?
  • What happens if I need to see a GP in person – how far will I need to travel?

These are all questions patients should ask themselves if they are considering using an online provider of GP consultations, either web-based or via a smartphone app, according to new guidance from the Royal College of General Practitioners, published today.

It also recommends that patients ensure the service has been inspected by the Care Quality Commission, or equivalent bodies outside of England; look into how their personal information will be kept safe; and consider whether it is providing a free NHS service, or if a fee will be required.

The guidance comes as a growing number of services offering consultations online, most commonly via a smartphone apps, are hitting the market. Whilst many of these are private, some have developed partnerships with GP practices in order to deliver NHS care.

The new document, which is available to download, also outlines considerations for GPs and GP practices considering using or implementing online consultation services. 
It also includes advice for commissioning bodies such as Clinical Commissioning Groups in England that might be considering a system for their local population – one question being whether the system is likely to address current demand or generate new demand, and if the latter, what resources are available to meet it.

Professor Martin Marshall, Vice Chair of the RCGP and author of the guidance, said: "Technology is being used more and more in every aspect of our lives and general practice has always been a trailblazer in this respect.

"Online consultations can seem like a very convenient option for accessing general practice services, particularly for young, generally healthy people who want to see a GP quickly. 
"But the ways some online services are provided raise patient safety concerns - people need to be aware of these, and properly understand what they are signing up to. Often, for example, patients will have consultations with unfamiliar GPs who don't have access to their full patient records.

"The College recognises that online consultations can be beneficial for patients, and indeed many practices across the country are already implementing in some form. However, we want to ensure that they are being implemented in a way that is safe for patients, and alleviates pressures in general practice and across the NHS. We also think that online consultations should be provided in addition to traditional services, not instead of them. 

"We hope this guidance will help everyone – patients, GPs, practice team members and commissioners - gain a better insight into online consultations, and, most importantly, help equip them with the information they need, so that patients are receiving high-quality, safe care, whichever way they choose to receive it."

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