Bowes and Bounds Connected

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Royal College of GPs recommends Dr Google for the first time in bid to ease pressure on surgeries

The Royal College of GPs (RCGPs) has recommended Dr Google for the first time, as part of a new “three before GP” mantra to ease the pressure on surgeries.

Patients have been urged to follow three simple steps before booking a doctor's appointment: see whether their problem could be dealt with through self-care, seek help from a reputable online source, or ask a pharmacist for assistance.

The call comes as GP leaders warn there are not enough family doctors working in England to cope with the soaring demand, and that practices are closing at an "alarming rate".

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, the chair of the RCGP, said that GPs "really feel the pinch" over the winter period, as she said people need to "think" before picking up the phone to call their surgery for an appointment.

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