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CAMHS won't see you now

10 tips on how to say 'no'

1 Saying 'no' is an essential GP skill – whether to a patient demanding unnecessary medication or a colleague insisting you do more than your fair share of the work.

1 Saying 'no' is an essential GP skill – whether to a patient demanding unnecessary medication or a colleague insisting you do more than your fair share of the work.

2 When someone puts you under unreasonable pressure, remember you have rights too.

3 Establish boundaries, or you will become overworked and anxious.

4 Being assertive is not the same as being aggressive.

5 You can only be responsible for your own behaviour.

6 If an outright 'no' makes you feel uncomfortable, try offering an alternative suggestion.

7 Emphasise a decision is yours by using phrases such as 'I won't' rather than the weaker 'I can't'.

8 Express your own feelings truthfully. If the request makes you uncomfortable, say so.

9 Remember....graveyards are full of indispensable peple.

10 The old cliché that 'if you want to get something done, ask a busy person' is true – they're busy because they can't say 'no'.

Professor David Haslam is a PMETB board member and former RCGP chair

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