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Practices 'need lead GP for adolescents'

Experts in adolescent health have called on all practices to appoint a lead GP for teenagers to help stop their unhealthy lifestyles creating a public health 'timebomb' ­ as described in a new report by the BMA.

The report on adolescent health, launched last week, also suggested screening teen-agers for the detection of asymptomatic infections such as chlamydia to stem the rising tide of sexually transmitted infections in this age group and resulting infertility.

Dr Russell Viner, consultant in adolescent medicine at University College Hospitals and Great Ormond Street Hospital, said at the launch of the report: 'The next generation will be the most infertile and the most obese in the history of mankind and it might also have the worst mental health.'

GP Dr Ann McPherson, chair of the RCGP taskforce on teenagers, agreed GPs had a large role to play in tackling teenage health problems.

'Most teenagers get seen in primary care two to three times a year and we need to ensure they can access information,' she said.

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