Worried parents need clear advice about when to seek medical help for their children with suspected Strep A, says College Chair
Publication date: 08 December 2022
Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has called on the Government for clear messaging for parents on when – and when not – to seek medical help as GP teams grapple with Strep A cases.
Professor Hawthorne said: "Across the country, GPs and our teams are seeing a rising number of parents who are concerned that their child is unwell and may have a serious case of Strep A. This is understandable given that we are seeing more Strep A infections than we normally would at this time of year - and especially as several serious cases have had tragic consequences - but many surgeries are struggling to cope with the additional demand on top of existing workload and workforce pressures facing general practice.
"We do not want to discourage patients who are worried about their children to seek medical attention, particularly given the current circumstances. But we do want to see good public health messaging across the UK making it clear to parents when they should seek help and the different care options available to them – as well as when they don’t need to seek medical attention.
"As a matter of urgency, we also need the Government to consider 'overspill' services for GP practices that cannot cope with increased patient demand as a result of Strep A concerns.
“GPs are highly trained consultants in family medicine who are being particularly vigilant in looking for serious, invasive cases of Group A streptococcal infections. Early identification and treatment are key, but it’s vital that we are available for those patients who really need to see us, so we ask the public and the media to act responsibly while we do our best to control and treat serious cases of these infections.”
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Notes to editor
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 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.