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GPs go forth

RCGP urges patients to see pharmacists as hayfever cases double

GPs in England and Wales are handling more than double the amount of hay fever cases compared to this time last year, according to the RCGP.

The latest statistics from college’s Research and Surveillance Centre, which monitors trends in diseases through consultations, recorded more than 5,000 additional cases of patients seeing their GP with allergic rhinitis or hay fever symptoms in the second week of June than at the same time last year.

The chair of the RCGP, Maureen Baker said: ‘Whilst in some cases it may be necessary to see a doctor, especially if the symptoms persist, there are many anti-histamine medications that can be bought over the counter at your pharmacist that should provide effective relief.’

This month there have already been 11,873 reported cases of hay fever, compared to just 5,560 cases last June.

Approximately 20% of the population is estimated to suffer from hay fever and there is currently no cure for the disorder.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Totally agree with Maureen Baker. Unless you're so allergic you can't breathe or see there's no need to go to a GP. OTC antihistamines, tissues and common sense should be first port of call!

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  • Prescriptions are free in Scotland- as they are in other past of the UK and for many patients in England. I work as a GP in an affluent area but patients still come for appointments expecting some better treatment than they feel is available OTC and because its free to "pop in" to see a GP and free to get a prescription. No-one seems to understand that appointments are limited and should be valued and left for those in need. Other healthcare professionals are available to help in many situations like this. People don't value free GP appointments or how expensive medications can be but will certainly miss them when one day they are a thing of the past.

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  • Please don't underestimate the severity of symptoms this year. I was on triple otc treatment and it wasn't until I requested a prescription of fexofenadine and flixonase that I actually managed to get a decent night's sleep after several weeks. Of course, patients should be directed to otc in first instance but severe symptoms sometimes need more.

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  • Vinci Ho

    I am more concerned with all these asthmatics with a spectrum of disease including Hay Fever, Atopic Eczema , Urticaria etc
    Have seen quite a few bad exacerbation of asthma in several atopy sufferers last 2 weeks

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  • Might be interesting to see how many of the "extra " consultations are patients that did have access to a funded community pharmacy minor ailments service that has been decommissioned.

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