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

dinsdag 31 juli 2018

RCGP: Top tips for coping in the summer heatwave

Top tips for coping in the summer heatwave

"It's certainly encouraging to see so many patients turning to self-care and using NHS Choices for their health advice, which is a great source of reputable information written by clinicians. However, the College is still anecdotally hearing from GPs from right across the country that the number of patients contacting their surgeries seeking advice on how to cope with this extreme heat that we're facing, is rising.

"Exposure to the sun can cause short and long-lasting damage to people's skin, so if you are planning to spend time in the sun, it's essential to protect yourself by wearing loose clothing that covers your skin, a wide-brimmed hat, appropriate high-quality eye protection and to use a high-factor sunscreen on any exposed areas.

"Hot conditions can also cause dehydration, so it's important to ensure you drink lots of water. And there are more insects about that bite and sting, so if you're prone to this – or usually have a particularly bad reaction to bites - make sure you carry antihistamine medication that is available over the counter. You can also lower the risk of being bitten by using insect repellent.

"Long term heart and lung conditions can also be worsened by excessive heat and these can present as increased breathing difficulties - in this situation, it is important to seek medical advice. People with learning difficulties are also sometimes less aware when they are over-heating, so if you care for someone vulnerable, do ensure that their clothing is modified appropriately, and that they drink enough water.

"Most of the minor health conditions and ailments associated with sun and heat can be treated by self-care, or by using over the counter medication that pharmacists should be able to offer advice about. Whilst in most cases seeing a GP should not be necessary, if a patient has any particularly bad reaction to heat or sun, they should seek medical advice.

"Just like in the winter months, we'd also encourage people to keep an eye on any elderly relatives or neighbours, who are amongst the most vulnerable to heat-related conditions, such as dehydration and heat exhaustion."

Read more

RCGP to stop investing in fossil fuel companies

The UK's largest Medical Royal College, with more than 52,000 members, is a leading member of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change and has long-recognised the impact that climate change has on the environment - and the adverse effects it can have on patients' health.

College Chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, said: "Climate change is a clear risk to the health and wellbeing of our patients – with recent research estimating 50 million predicted years of life lost across Great Britain between 2011 and 2154 if things don't improve.

"We already face a seasonal crisis every winter that threatens to destabilise our national health service, but with our summers forecasted to become hotter and hotter, we risk the emergence of a second seasonal crisis, and the NHS will simply be unable to cope.

"Excessive exposure to heat and sun can cause numerous health conditions, such as dehydration and heat exhaustion, particularly for our most vulnerable patients – the elderly, frail, young children and patients with severe learning difficulties. Hot conditions can also worsen existing heart, kidney and lung conditions.

"What is good for the planet is usually good for our patients' health, and the NHS as a whole – and I am delighted that the College has made the decision to disinvest from fossil fuel companies, which we know contributes to climate change."

Dr Steve Mowle, Honorary Treasurer for the Royal College of GPs, said: "We're really pleased that this decision has been passed by the College's Trustee Board. We felt that the benefit of our modest investment in fossil fuel companies was outweighed by the negative impact that climate change can have on patients' health."

Read more

Patients always encouraged to buy products available 'over-the-counter' if they can, says RCGP

"GPs are expert medical professionals, and being able to correctly identify and prescribe drugs that are most likely to benefit to our patients is a core part of our training.

"GPs are acutely aware of how much money prescriptions cost the NHS, and will always encourage patients who can afford to buy 'over the counter' products to source them themselves. Also, in most cases, generic products will work just as well as branded ones, as well as being much cheaper, and this should be factored in but there are notable exceptions, and supply issues can affect what doctors are able to prescribe from time to time.

"The College has worked closely with NHS England in recent months to help establish new guidelines identifying over-the-counter medicines that shouldn't be routinely prescribed through the health service – and we certainly support the drive to reduce prescriptions where the evidence suggests they have little or no benefit for patients.

"However, it is essential that GPs do retain their ability to use their expert medical judgement to prescribe in the best interests of the person sitting in front of them."

Read more