Clinicians urged to help youngsters with chronic illness

Healthcare professionals need to get to grips with chronic illnesses in young people, says a leading adolescent health expert.

Dr Ann McPherson, Oxford GP and chairwoman of the RCGP adolescent task force, said the DoH push for more secondary care to be the responsibility of primary care means GPs need to become more attuned to the needs of young people with conditions such as epilepsy or cancer.

‘One of the problems is that often these patients don’t see GPs because they’ve been looked after by the hospital,’ she said.

‘They often see hospitals as their primary carers, not the GP.’

But GPs need to keep in contact with these patients, to help them with issues such as contraception, and also to ease the transition from paediatric to adult services, added Dr McPherson.

‘Given what’s happening in primary care, we need to readdress the balance.’

GPs should visit the website YouthHealthTalk to learn more about young people with chronic or long-term medical conditions, said Dr McPherson.

She has developed the site along with colleagues at the University of Oxford to provide an insight into symptoms, diagnosis, doctor-patient relations, as well as the day-to-day impact of living with a condition such as cystic fibrosis, congenital heart problems or HIV in your teens or early twenties.

As well as boosting the knowledge-base of GPs and those in training, young patients should be directed to the site to learn more about living with their condition, she added.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Child coughing

NICE traffic light tool that helps GPs spot seriously ill under-5s 'unreliable'

NICE's 'traffic light' system - intended to help GPs indentify risk of serious illness...

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK have led the largest-ever NHS vaccination programme in response...

GMC sign

Overseas-graduate GPs fare worse in medical tribunals due to lack of legal help

UK GPs who graduated overseas face worse outcomes in GMC cases because they are far...

Woman using HRT patch

Practical advice for GPs on prescribing HRT

GP menopause specialists Dr Louise Newson and Dr Olivia Jones provides an overview...

NHS logo on tiled wall

PCNs falling short on 26,000 staff target and need more flexibility, GPs warn

Government plans to bring in 26,000 staff by 2024 to support general practice are...

Talking General Practice logo with picture of Dr Ed Cantelo and Dr Tommy Perkins

Podcast: How two GPs set up a business to advise doctors about finance

Talking General Practice speaks to GPs Dr Tommy Perkins and Dr Ed Cantelo from Medics...