Invest in the health of young people says influential GP

Publication date: 04 October 2013

The RCGP Annual Conference continues with Day 2 highlights including a session on youth mental health, tackling health inequalities in liver disease in general practice and news aboutfurther conference sessions with Camila Batmangieligh.

It makes sense to invest in the health of young people as they are the nation’s greatest asset for growth, prosperity and innovation, is a key message coming from the RCGP Annual Primary Care conference in Harrogate today.

Dr Jane Roberts, RCGP Clinical Champion for Youth Mental Health, will look at how to meet the mental health needs of young people in general practice. The session will also discuss NICE guidelines relevant to youth mental health, including those on the management of adolescents and adults presenting with clinical features on the autism spectrum.

Youth Mental Health was made a Clinical Priority for the RCGP in April with the aims to:

  • raise the profile of adolescent mental health as a priority issue amongst primary care practitioners
  • promote and support GPs to engage more actively with young people who present with emotional distress in primary care through the development of a suite of resources
  • work with stakeholders including the voluntary sector in areas of mutual interest and concern

Earlier in the day Louise Casey, Head of the Department of Health's troubled families programme will address delegates.

Tomorrow, Camila Batmangieligh will also be speaking on youth engagement in child health.

Tackling health inequalities in liver disease in general practice

Around 216,000 individuals in the UK are chronically infected with hepatitis C and a significant proportion of these, over 100,000 people, remain undiagnosed. Hepatitis C disproportionately affects socially excluded and vulnerable groups including people who inject drugs and, unless treated, these individuals are at risk of developing debilitating and life-threatening liver disease.

The RCGP runs a Certificate in the Detection, Diagnosis and Management of Hepatitis B and C in Primary Care, aiming to educate GPs in testing and treatment of hepatitis C, the use of the latest GP support software to assist with hepatitis C patient case-finding and, review current hepatitis C treatment options and consider how new treatments may further improve treatment outcomes for people with hepatitis C.

Also at the RCGP Annual Primary Care conference today...

Queer Quandary is an interactive session for GPs, trainees, managers, educators and commissioners. It will try to bust common myths and examine the truths about gay men and lesbians. It will also look at making general practice as inclusive as possible and provide tips on how to break down the barriers that patients report in discussing their sexuality with their GP.

RCGP International: A session on the RCGP's 60 for 60 campaign will hear the experiences of a paediatrician who moved to Sierra Leone to work in a hospital in the town of Makeni as part of a VSO scheme.

60 for 60 saw GPs across the country raise more than £120,000 to fund two GPs to travel to Makeni as part of a project, in collaboration with VSO, to promote community health care in the war torn country. The RCGP is currently recruiting for the GPs who will make the trip.

Osteoporosis is the theme of an interactive workshop that will use case studies to highlight current issues in the management of osteoporosis in primary care.

Currently, Bisphosphonate therapy is recommended as first-line treatment for the primary and secondary prevention of osteoporotic fractures. Unfortunately, compliance is a major problem with poor adherence and only 58% persistence after 1 year.

The session will discuss ways of improving compliance and monitoring of this therapy in primary care. It will also address the use of fracture risk assessment tools, risks of PPI treatment and the role of sarcopenia in osteoporosis.


Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 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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