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'Patients understand GP stress'

Dr Anita Campbell says the expert patients programme improves the doctor-patient relationship by increasing patient understanding of both their illness and GP workload pressures.

Dr Campbell, a GP in Sheffield, said expert patients understood the pressures GPs were under and behaved more responsibly by planning consultations and prioritising symptoms for the 10-minute slot.

Dr Campbell added she had the impression that patients who attended the expert patient courses also consulted less frequently, and she hoped GPs would

be able to see a real drop in their workload as the courses became available to more patients.

'When they come in now they know what they want, understand the pressures we are under and recognise GPs have rights,' Dr Campbell told Pulse.

'Extending the course

to other patients is appropriate for some people – if they get a lot out of a group learning situation – and would help us with workload and make life more pleasant for GPs.'

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