Bower, E. GP Online. Published online: 7 October 2016
GPs should take steps to improve communication with patients, including making use of social media, to improve relationships and enable self care, patient campaigner Kate Allatt told the RCGP annual conference.
Ms Allatt suffered a stroke at the age of 39 in 2010 and went on to suffer locked-in syndrome, which she said was ‘like being buried alive’. Against all predictions from medical staff, she managed to regain speech and mobility in less than a year.
Since then she has worked to help people in similar situations and championed the cause of empowering patients with the knowledge, skills and confidence to better self-manage their conditions.
Ms Allatt said that improved communication between health professionals and patients resulted in better relationships and outcomes.
She suggested a range of measures GPs and practices could take to improve patient communication, inlcuding keeping an informal diary about particular patients to help GPs ‘track what’s normal symptoms for that particular patient’. She herself had never suffered from migraines and this was one of the symptoms she presented with when she had her stroke and was sent home.
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