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Demoralised by GMC complaint

Genito-urinary medicine clinics are failing to collaborate with primary care over follow-up care for patients with recurrent genital herpes, new research warns.

The study, based on a survey of 159 GUM clinics in the UK, found only 47 per cent encouraged collaboration with primary care for follow-up prescribing.

Less than two-thirds had access to some type of counselling or psychological therapy for patients with recurrent genital herpes (RGH).

The researchers, from St Mary's Hospital in London, said there needed to be more effort to involve primary care in treatment of the condition.

But they warned many patients were reluctant because of fears over patient confidentiality and the impact on their relationship with their GP. Some GPs also felt 'ill-equipped' to manage chronic STIs.

'In reality, uncomplicated RGH can successfully be managed in primary care. But before this can occur both GPs and patients need explanation, education and support,' they said.

The study, published in the International Journal of STD and AIDS, came as the Health Protection Agency revealed there was wide variation in access to GUM clinics, with less than 30 per cent of patients in some areas being seen within 48 hours.

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