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Government adviser urges boycott of PSA on demand

GPs are facing a surge in workload over the diagnosis and treatment of chlamydia as GUM clinics fail to cope with the spiralling numbers of infections.

Around 75 per cent of chlamydia cases are now managed in primary care compared with just 25 per cent a decade ago, according to data presented at the Health Protection Agency's annual conference.

But the RCGP warned GPs' involvement in chlamydia management was not properly resourced and very few GPs were being paid for it through enhanced services.

A second study found the National Chlamydia Screening Programme was on course to target 4.5 million sexually active young adults by 2008 in England after analysing results from 26 pilot areas. But while 10 per cent of patients tested were infected with chlamydia, there was a sharp fall in GP referrals to GUM clinics as long waiting lists forced GPs to manage cases themselves.

Dr Scott LaMontagne, clinical scientist at the agency and scientific lead for the screening programme, said: 'GUM clinics are massively overstretched but the evidence shows patients can be effectively tested and treated elsewhere.'

Dr William Ford Young, RCGP spokesperson on sex, drugs and HIV, said he hoped shortages in resourcing would be restored through enhanced services. 'The reality is very few PCTs are commissioning this level of service from a GP.'

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