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All hospital patients to be assessed for VTE prophylaxis

By Yvette Martyn

GPs have been warned to expect an increase in the number of patients leaving hospital on venous thromboembolism prophylaxis, after a change in NICE guidelines to state that all hospital patients should be assessed for their use.

The new recommendations state that all hospital patients should be assessed including day-case procedures and non-surgical patients. Implementation will see more patients discharged into their GP's care on mechanical and pharmacological treatments - such as anti-embolism stockings or heparin.

NICE state that patients should be given oral and written instructions as part of their discharge on the duration and use of their medication and their GP should be notified.

A spokesperson for NICE said: 'It is certainly true to expect that GPs will receive more information on the prophylaxis that their patients would be discharged with but the workload increase is really at the hospital side.'

The spokesperson dispelled GPs' fears that they would have to assess patients' VTE risk prior to a scheduled hospital visit, saying: 'The hospital staff should assess patients for VTE.'