7 Care of Acutely Ill People

This section of our curriculum guide refers to statement 7, Care of Acutely Ill People, produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Around 10-15% of patients consult a GP for serious illness. A proportion of these will be acutely ill.

This curriculum statement refers specifically to the care of acutely ill people, including the care of patients in out-of-hours primary care.

Acutely ill patients of all ages present unpredictably, and often require an urgent response. While they may be seen in the surgery, on home visits and in out-of-hours centres, GPs may also be asked to give assistance in unfamiliar and unsupported surroundings such as at the roadside.

The effective management of an acutely ill person will include recognition and immediate management. A wide range of knowledge and skills will support these two areas. Of equal importance, however, in the management of these patients, are organisation, teamwork,communication and situational awareness.

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