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This contractual postnatal checks idea is giving me sleepless nights


I like doing baby checks. But that’s not the point. I think it is a good use of our time. It’s an opportunity to discuss and advise about baby’s health, and to pick up things like post natal depression if it has been missed. There are far fewer postnatal midwife and HV visits so post natal depression is in danger of being missed. And please note, we hardly have health visitors any more. Their numbers have been cut and there are more cuts to come. In our area they are an endangered species and I suspect its the same everywhere as the public health cuts are universal. General Practice does have a social and health promoting role and I think that for young parents, especially first time mothers, its really important that they have that one dedicated appointment where they can talk about their health concerns and any concerns about their baby. It is also a good opportunity to explain about and motivate for vaccination, and parents tend to trust the advice of a doctor so it helps with vaccination uptake. I think talk of “lack of evidence” is a bit rich as there is so much that we do for which there is not hard evidence. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The UK has one of the worst child health outcomes in Europe. We know that prevention and health promotion are important. With cuts to all the other preventive services the GP is often the only one who is in a position to pick up problems. Instead of arguing ourselves out of our role, how about demanding proper funding so we have enough time to do this important work?

Posted date

03 Nov 2018

Posted time