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#GPnews: Minor complaints take up 57 million GP appointments a year, says report

14:00 Hospitals in the North West of England are trialling gene testing before prescribing a common drug to patients.

Clinics at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Warrington Hospital and the Countess of Chester Hospital across Merseyside and Cheshire are genotyping new patients with atrial fibrillation before prescribing warfarin.

They are the first frontline staff in England to carry out these tests, despite an increased risk of bleeding or blod clots if warfarin dosage is wrong for the patient.

The work is led by Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed of the University of Liverpool’s Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine, and executive director of Liverpool Health Partners.

He said: ‘This is innovation and it is disruptive; it is a way of personalising care which can be replicated in many areas of medicine, creating a major paradigm shift in how we diagnose and treat people.

‘This is how we get patients onto the right drugs at the right doses – using ‘precision dosing’ so that they are effective. This improves the treatment of patients and improves the efficiency of existing and new drugs.’

11:45 NHS England and Public Health England are campaigning for over-65s and people with health issues to eat hot meals over winter.

Other advice includes keeping active, setting the thermostat no lower than 18C, wrapping up warm and drinking hot drinks, reports the BBC.

This year’s Stay Well This Winter campaign comes as there were 43,900 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2014/15, according to the  Office for National Statistics.

The advice says: ‘Food is a vital source of energy, which keeps your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.’

Professor Keith Willett, medical director for acute care at NHS England, said: ‘The NHS is here to help, but there are important things we can all do to take care of ourselves during the winter months.’

09:45 Millions of patients are unnecessarily straining general practice every year with things like colds, insect bites and dandruffreports the Guardian.

The Local Government Association research showed that there were 57 millon GP consultations every year for minor complaints, including 5.2m for blocked noses, 40,000 for dandruff and 20,000 for travel sickness.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, the chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board said: ’Better self-management could make a huge difference to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

’Instead, the lack of knowledge among the general population about how they can do this is placing a huge burden on surgeries and hospitals.’

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