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GPs' paediatric training questioned

GPs and nurses in England need comprehensive training to fully understand how to care for children and young people, a review has suggested.

Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, alarmingly revealed how one GP told him that some doctors "don't even know how to hold a baby".

Sir Ian was completing the study into the state of NHS services for youngsters after being asked to carry out a review by the previous government.

He revealed that paediatric training for GPs was "falling away", with some of them not receiving any at all.

"Many GPs have little or no experience of paediatrics as part of their professional training," he said in the report.

"Given that the majority of their patients are adults, caring for children and young people is low on most GPs' priorities."

Services for children with long-term needs, disabilities or mental health problems are also targeted for improvement in the report, with Sir Ian calling out for GP practices to be at the "hub" of care for young people.

He added: "Services for children could and should be a lot better in the NHS.

"When they are good they are very, very good but too often they are mediocre or they vary."

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Sir Ian Kennedy's Review