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3 03 Care of Acutely Ill People


As a general practitioner (GP) you must:

  • Recognise the signs of illnesses and conditions that require urgent intervention
  • Work effectively in teams and co-ordinate care
  • Prioritise problems and establish a differential diagnosis
  • Make the patient’s safety a priority
  • Consider the appropriateness of interventions according to the patient’s wishes, the severity of the illness and any chronic or co-morbid diseases
  • Be able to make mental state assessments and ensure the safety of others
  • Accept responsibility for your actions, at the same time recognising any need for involving more experienced personnel
  • Keep your resuscitation skills up to date – this would normally involve a yearly certified resuscitation course
  • Act calmly in emergency situations and follow agreed protocols
  • Know the processes and arrangements for commissioning and delivering urgent and unscheduled care in your community
  • Be aware of how the management of patients with continuing conditions affects the need to give urgent and unscheduled care

Knowledge and skills guide

This section contains the learning outcomes for the 'Care of Acutely Ill People' curriculum module.

These are grouped into 12 core areas of competence concerned with the tasks you will undertake as a general practitioner when delivering care to people in your community.

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Case discussion

This section contains a scenario and questions for reflection which help to illustrate the learning points in this module.

 You are undertaking a shift at the out-of-hours centre and take a phone call from a parent who is very worried about their 4-year-old daughter....    

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How to learn this area of practice

This section includes suggested activities and strategies for developing the competences you will require.     

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Useful learning resources

This section provides suggestions for further reading and other resources to help you in your training, including books, journal articles and web resources.     

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This section lists references which have been used in the development of the curriculum.       

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