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Health promotion is a cornerstone of general practice.1 Issues including smoking, diet, alcohol and exercise are often raised with patients. However, given the restrictions of the 10 minute consultation, any intervention is brief. At best, it is reinforced with written information or referral. How will the new NICE recommendations on reducing STIs and teenage pregancies2 influence those working in general practice?
ARE THE RECOMMENDATIONS APPROPRIATE TO GENERAL PRACTICE?
There are five recommendations relevant to doctors and nurses working in primary care. To be effective these need to apply to all practices, not just the select few providing gold-plated specialist sexual health services.
Recommendations 1 and 2 relate to counselling to reduce risky sexual behaviour. General practitioners (GPs) have little time to identify individuals at high risk and arrange sexual health counselling. Even if they did, it is unlikely young people would attend. Many practices do provide brief opportunistic sexual health promotion. This might include providing contraception, condoms and …
Funding: Dr Oakeshott receives research funding from the BUPA Foundation.
Competing interests: none declared
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