GPs should educate patients on public health, says report

GPs should educate patients on public health issues during consultations, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health (APPG) has said.

APPG report recommends that health education becomes part of the national curriculum
APPG report recommends that health education becomes part of the national curriculum

The APPG said ‘health professionals must undertake CPD training on conducting health promoting consultations.’

It also called for GPs  to have full access to public health expertise and public health information and intelligence.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said public health was an ‘integral’ part of commissioning. ‘If consortia are able to commission effectively it is imperative that consortia have Public Health expertise,' he said.

But he said it was 'unrealistic' to expect GPs to provide public healthcare information during consultation time. ‘There is a limit to how much you can pack into 10 minutes,' he said. Such advice does not have to be given by a GP, it could be provided by a nurse or a health visitor.'

The report also recommended that health education became part of the national curriculum.

APPG co-chair Lord Hunt said: ‘Public health reforms have to target the education service as well as health care and future generations should be equipped with the knowledge of how to live a fulfilling and healthy life and also to understand when they should access health services and when they can look after their own health.’

Dr Nagpaul said the GPC would support any move which puts an emphasis on public health and encourages people to take responsibility of their own health.

‘Anything which enables people to learn the importance of being healthy from an early age is a good thing,’ he said.

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