GPs should get patients to take their own measurements in war on obesity

8 Oct

Prof Stokes-Lampard said GPs should ensure patients could track their health – while sparing their blushes.

“Some GP surgeries already do it really well. You do need a bit of space and a bit of privacy because most people don’t want to measure their waistline in the waiting room, they would rather do it in a quiet corner,” she said.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “It is a great idea. The Government has wasted millions nannying and hectoring the public.

“But the key people in the battle with obesity are GPs.

“It’s a good idea to get patients to measure their own height, weight and waistline as they wait for their appointment at the practice. Then the GP can use their clinical judgement to give advice and the patient feels involved.”

“It is about empowering people. We need to promote wellness and prevention rather than curing illness,” he said.

Prof Stokes-Lampard also said GPs also needed to accept that most patients would have googled symptoms before they consulted their doctor, and work constructively with them.

“Dr Google enters 80 per cent of consultations that I have nowadays,” she said, suggesting younger patients were “mystified” when GPs did not use the search engine during consultations.

“We have to work with it and we have to be bold and that’s a challenge for all of us I think,” she told an RCGP event.

An NHS England spokesman said: “Independent evidence shows that when people are more actively involved in their own care, their health is improved and unplanned admissions are reduced.”

Last month Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that all patients should be able to book a GP appointment, check their patient record, and receive support for managing long conditions via an app by the end of next year.


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