GPs need training to deal with web-informed patients

GPs should be trained on how to deal with patients who access healthcare information online, according to a report released this week.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethic's report on personalised healthcare also called on guidance bodies to give more support to doctors by providing them with information to help them explain treatment decisions to patients.

‘Some patients will be well informed but others will not have gained additional information on different visits,’ it said. 'Other patients will have found misleading information about which they require advice.’

The report also argued that guidance bodies should play a bigger role in helping doctors explain why certain treatments are not provided by the NHS.

It said: ‘This should include why particular treatments are selected over others, and why certain treatments are not provided by some or all patients by the public healthcare system.’

NICE revealed last week that it is developing an online resource to support the use of its guidance in general practice.

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