Seeing the same GP

Seeing the same GP on every visit to the surgery significantly lowers health complications and emergency hospital admissions for people with dementia, an Exeter University study has found.

More than 9,000 patient records were examined and they showed that fewer medicines were prescribed when the person with dementia was consistently seen by the same GP over the course of one year.

Patients in this group were given fewer medicines causing problems like incontinence, drowsiness and falls, meaning that they were 35% less likely to develop delirium, 58% less likely to experience incontinence and almost 10% less likely to have an emergency hospitalisation.

“Treating people with dementia can be complex because it often occurs together with other common diseases,” said Dr Joao Delgado, lead author of the research paper published in the British Journal of General Practice.

“Our research shows that seeing the same general practitioner consistently over time is associated with improved safe prescribing and improved health outcomes.  This could have important health care impacts, including reduced treatment costs and care needs.”