Newspapers hail the return of the ‘proper’ family doctor, and other news
A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 15 November.
GPs are the top of the headlines everywhere this morning as the new GP contract heralds ‘a return of the “proper” family doctor’ according to the Telegraph
and the solution to all A&E woes according to pretty much everyone else – while the Times says GPs will be forced to reveal how much they are paid to satisfy their patients they are ‘good value’.
In other news, a campaign group has claimed loneliness is driving more and more otherwise healthy people to visit their GP. According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, one in five patients go to their doctor because of an ‘intense feeling of isolation’, the Metro reports, with GPs seeing a many as 10 lonely people a day.
Campaign director Kate Joplin said the problem is putting ‘an unnecessary strain on GP surgeries and social care services’ and called for a ‘more co-ordinated public health response that targets resources towards better support for the lonely and prevention of loneliness for those at risk’.
The Daily Express meanwhile says senior doctors are warning the NHS could be ‘crippled’ by what is predicted to be the worse winter for decades. With temperatures as low as -15 degrees, they say it could lead to a crisis on over-stretched wards and are calling for frail and elderly people to go to their GP or pharmacy at ‘the first sign of illness’ instead of waiting until they need urgent treatment, particularly for breathing problems.
Professor Mike Morgan, of NHS England, said: ‘My message to the public is simple: look after yourself this winter. If you know someone who is frail or elderly or has an existing health problem and they are feeling unwell, encourage them to seek early advice, go to their local pharmacy or GP before one problem leads to another and they end up in hospital.’
Finally experts say so-called ‘designer vagina’ operations should not be done in under-18s unless medically necessary, in a move to stop an increasing trend for women to undergo the surgery.
The number of labial reductions – the most common procedure – carried out on the NHS increased five-fold in the past decade, while 266 were performed in girls under 14 between 2008 and 2012, reports the Independent.
The figures could just be the ‘tip of the iceberg’, as private clinics do not have to record their data, according to a joint report from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology.
Clinicians also need to do more to ‘inform women about natural variations in genital appearance’, said to Dame Suzi Leather, chair of RCOG’s ethics committee.