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#GPnews: Teenage pregnancy rates plummet to record low

14:30 As the Pulse team is preparing to pack up from the packed Pulse Live conference at London’s Olympia, delegates are getting excited about the presentation from health minister David Mowat.

Watch the website for our imminent report, as soon as the keynote speech is over.

14:25 The number of teenagers who become pregnant in England and Wales have dropped to the lowest rates since records began.

In 2007, there were 41.6 pregnancies per 1,000 teenage girls but by 2015 this had more than halved – to 21, according to ONS figures.

When comparable records began in 1969, there were 47.1 pregnancies per 1,000 girls under 18.

Reasons are thought to include better access to contraception, better sexual education and an increased stigma towards teenage mothers, reports the Independent.

12:50 Think your patients complain too much? Think again, as UK has been ranked the 19th happiest country out of 155 countries worldwide.

The least happy people live in the Central African Republic, while war-torn Syria was understandably at a low 152nd ranking, writes the BBC.

So where is the happiest place on earth? According to the latest survey it is Norway, which this year took the top spot from neighbouring Denmark.

Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which published the report, looked at reasons behind high happiness scores, finding they were affected by GDP as well as employment rates.

11:30 GPs are feeling the pressure from new Government guidelines on sepsis diagnosis, with NICE saying they need to start antibiotic treatment ‘within an hour’.

But speaking at Pulse Live, Dr Simon Stockley, GP and RCGP clinical lead on sepsis, attempted to give some pointers to help.

He said that paying attention to respiration rates and confusion could help with early diagnosis of the condition. 

More patients die of sepsis every year than bowel cancer and prostate cancer combined, Dr Stockley said, but he noted that GPs ‘had it hard’ because patients later diagnosed with sepsis when admitted into hospital might not display symptoms when being examined by their GP.

He said: ‘It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, you can’t diagnose it before it appears.’

A new national early warning system (NEWS) to help diagnose acute conditions including sepsis, will be rolled out later in 2017, he added.

Dr Stockley said that the scoring system was a better tool for picking up the signs of sepsis than the previous qSOFA system. 

09:45 David Mowat, the health minister responsible for general practice will be addressing the Pulse Live conference later today.

Mr Mowat will be speaking to crowds of GPs which flocked to Kensington Olympia in London yesterday.

Other speakers today include former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada, who will talk about the new national GP mental health service.

Read Pulse – and follow the @pulsetoday Twitter account – for updates throughout the day.

Seen something interesting? Email or tweet @pulsetoday with the hashtag #GPnews