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40,000 visit East Lancashire GPs for dandruff treatment
5:00pm Friday 3rd August 2012 in News
HEALTH professionals across East Lancashire are supporting a new NHS survey set to investigate the reasons why people head to the doctor instead of looking after themselves at home.
More than 51 million people per year visit their GP with minor problems which would clear up by themselves – or with a little help from an over-the-counter remedy.
Up to 40,000 GP visits per year are for dandruff, while a further 20,000 go to their local surgery for travel-sickness, and 5.2 million with blocked noses.
Health chiefs fear these unnecessary GP visits – almost one in five appointments are for very minor problems – are draining resources from caring for older, chronically-ill people, and having a knock-on effect of placing A&E and emergency departments under further pressure.
Dr Mike Ions, GP and accountable officer for East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “More people are living longer with complex or long-term health conditions – this is great news for everyone, but it does mean we need to take steps so that we can focus more resources on these potentially vulnerable groups of people.
“We are not saying that people should not go to see their GP or use their emergency department and 999 services if they believe they are seriously ill. We need to understand how we can encourage them to help themselves for common problems.”