GPs on 'permanent alert' for signs of meningitis, says College

Publication date: 14 September 2018

Responding to a new report by the Meningitis Research Foundation, Chair of the Royal College of GPs Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard said: "GPs know all too well that meningitis and indeed any form of sepsis can lead to serious complications, and in some cases can be fatal, if not recognised and treated in a timely manner. But the challenge for all clinicians is that initial symptoms often present in exactly the same way as common viral illnesses such as flu, making both conditions very hard to spot in the early stages of disease.

"GPs are on permanent alert for signs of meningitis in their patients and we do speak to the parents of babies and young children about what they need to look out for which may indicate that an illness could be developing into something much more serious.

"The College would certainly welcome new resources that GPs could share and discuss with patients and parents of young children, that raise awareness of the symptoms of meningitis, so that people can get the best possible care as quickly as possible.

"GPs also recognise that parents and carers are the ones who really know their child best and that listening to a parents' concerns about their child is often an important indicator of whether something is not right. This is something we will always try to take into account, along with any other physical, psychological and social factors potentially impacting on the health of the patient in front of us.

"Sepsis is a Spotlight project for the RCGP and we have developed high quality resources to support GPs and other members of the practice team identify possible cases of sepsis, which also includes a 'symptom checker' to illustrate the signs and symptoms to look out for."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633/7410
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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