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#GPnews: Minor complaints take up 57 million GP appointments a year, says report

14:00 Hospitals in the North West of England are trialling gene testing before prescribing a common drug to patients.

Clinics at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Warrington Hospital and the Countess of Chester Hospital across Merseyside and Cheshire are genotyping new patients with atrial fibrillation before prescribing warfarin.

They are the first frontline staff in England to carry out these tests, despite an increased risk of bleeding or blod clots if warfarin dosage is wrong for the patient.

The work is led by Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed of the University of Liverpool’s Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine, and executive director of Liverpool Health Partners.

He said: 'This is innovation and it is disruptive; it is a way of personalising care which can be replicated in many areas of medicine, creating a major paradigm shift in how we diagnose and treat people.

'This is how we get patients onto the right drugs at the right doses – using ‘precision dosing’ so that they are effective. This improves the treatment of patients and improves the efficiency of existing and new drugs.'

11:45 NHS England and Public Health England are campaigning for over-65s and people with health issues to eat hot meals over winter.

Other advice includes keeping active, setting the thermostat no lower than 18C, wrapping up warm and drinking hot drinks, reports the BBC.

This year’s Stay Well This Winter campaign comes as there were 43,900 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2014/15, according to the  Office for National Statistics.

The advice says: ‘Food is a vital source of energy, which keeps your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.’

Professor Keith Willett, medical director for acute care at NHS England, said: 'The NHS is here to help, but there are important things we can all do to take care of ourselves during the winter months.'

09:45 Millions of patients are unnecessarily straining general practice every year with things like colds, insect bites and dandruffreports the Guardian.

The Local Government Association research showed that there were 57 millon GP consultations every year for minor complaints, including 5.2m for blocked noses, 40,000 for dandruff and 20,000 for travel sickness.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board said: ’Better self-management could make a huge difference to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

’Instead, the lack of knowledge among the general population about how they can do this is placing a huge burden on surgeries and hospitals.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Does anybody remember the game Snakes on the old Nokia phones. The more you fed it the more it grew then as you progressed through the levels there were obstacles and hazards to get around and eventually after a while the elongated snake would end up eating itself. That's what unrestricted demand on NHS services is like. Patients see us as soon as they become unwell with minor illness 'just to make sure it doesn't get worse' They come before they become unwell 'just to make sure they don't become unwell' they come because somebody else told them that they need to come just to make sure their isn't a problem , hasn't been a problem or wont be a problem. We medicalise everybody with stress induced symptoms, We have allowed to become all things to all people, their social worker, their financial advisor their advocate in their battle against their wicked employer and unsurprisingly we cannot cope. Dentists don't see everything that walks through their door and even when its a dental issue it ends up at our door. Why because its free and we deal with it why because we don't want complaints, we don't want GMC referral we don't want litigation. The result is a generation of people who cant deal with having a cold, diarrhoea and vomiting or a few days of muscular pain an itch, a blocked nose and dandruff! Dandruff for Christ sakes i must have forgotten about the dandruff lecture at medical school (Guess I wasn't head and shoulders above the rest of the class ;) ). Do people really need us to tell them to exercise and eat better, cool it on the fags and booze and go to bed a reasonable time. We need to stop the infantilization of our patients, reclaim our status as professionals who see diagnose and treat actual pathology and we need everybody to get a grip or else as is inevitable we will end up killing ourselves just like more my poor snake!

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