Why do people visit GP for coughs and colds?

6 January 2017

GP surgery

Cardiff University and HealthWise Wales launch new survey to ease winter pressures on NHS in Wales

Researchers at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine are working with HealthWise Wales to better understand why some people visit their GP for minor ailments such as coughs and colds.

Members of the public are being asked to sign-up to a HealthWise Wales survey to share their experiences and views on the subject.

The information gathered will help researchers, general practitioners and health service planners get a better understanding of the most effective ways to support people suffering with infections during the busy winter period.

Dr Nick Francis, the study lead at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine and a GP practicing in south Wales comments:

“Winter is a notoriously busy time for the Welsh NHS, with a big increase in the demands on GPs who see a higher number of people seeking treatment for coughs, colds, sore throats and stomach bugs. If we can understand the best ways of supporting patients to manage these illnesses themselves, or with the support of their local pharmacist, it will relieve pressures on general practice, A&E departments and hospitals.”

HealthWise Wales is a unique research project that aims to use information from the public to help the NHS plan for the future. Everyone aged 16 and over and living in Wales is being asked to take ten minutes to complete a confidential, online survey twice a year. The project aims to recruit 260,000 people over five years to build a picture of the nation’s future health needs by collating detailed information on various health topics from people of all ages and backgrounds.

Professor Shantini Paranjothy from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, scientific lead for HealthWise Wales, said:

“HealthWise Wales provides a unique opportunity to collect data and carry out research that will inform how we can provide efficient and effective healthcare that meets the needs of the people who live in Wales. We need large numbers of people to sign up and give their views so that we have robust information that we can use to make improvements to how healthcare services are delivered.”

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