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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Minor ailments cost nearly £2bn a year

16th March 2010

According to a report by the Self-Care Campaign, many patients are still visiting their GP about minor health problems, including colds and blocked noses.


The group, which is comprised of doctors and health workers, said one fifth of patient visits concerned common ailments.

It said that the NHS was spending almost £2 billion annually because of the problem. The report explained that many patients went to see their GP because it was convenient or because they were dependent on their doctor's advice.

The report added: "This does not mean denying treatment to those who are sick but making sure that people receive the services they actually need."

Research - which received funding by the Proprietary Association of Great Britain - showed that in the UK, GPs carried out over 50 million consultations annually for "minor" health problems. These ailments included skin problems, back pain and colds.

The report said that by addressing this issue the health service could save £10 billion by 2015.

The British Medical Association and the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said they supported the idea of patients looking after their own health more.

In a statement the RCGP president Professor Steve Field, said: "Patients with long-term and complex conditions need more time with their GP...we need to look at ways of encouraging a change in attitude towards the treatment of minor illnesses so that health care and services are properly directed at those most in need."


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