Welcome back to this week’s edition of The Medic Portal’s News Summary Blog! This summary will cover the highlights in medical news from the 1st to the 6th of November 2016. This week has seen research published that suggests that General Practitioner appointments should be extended to 15 minutes, children’s sleep is being disturbed by media devices and the government have announced a war against hospital superbugs.
A new study published by researchers at Cambridge University has found that some general practitioners are carrying out consultations in as little as two minutes. The study examined 440 general practitioner’s (GP) consultations and found that the average time a patient spent with a GP was just over ten minutes. The shortest consultation in the study was two minutes 15 seconds, whilst the longest was over half an hour. The study found that those patients who spent longer with a doctor did not report higher levels of satisfaction and those who had the highest level of satisfaction were often those who had the shorter appointments. The study which was published in the British Journal of General Practice calls for the British Medical Association (BMA) to extend GP appointments to at least 15 minutes. A study by the BMA of 15,000 GPs found that nine in ten believed that ten minutes was not long enough for an appointment.
The government has announced a new war against hospital superbugs such as E.coli. Although superbug strains such as MRSA and C.difficilie have reduced in the UK over the last decade the number of cases of E.coli is rising and killing over 5,500 in 2015. The campaign will focus on hand-washing and hospitals will also be required to publish E.coli rates in wards. The government have also appointed a new national infection advisor, Dr Ruth May and a stricter inspection regime for hospitals. E.coli can cause respiratory, urinary and surgical site infections and can lead to life-threatening sepsis. It also makes up nearly two-thirds of antibiotic-resistant infections.