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Training course teaches medics how to deal with teenagers

15 July 2008

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Plans to improve healthcare for young people will include medical staff being given specialist training on how to treat teenagers more effectively, it has been announced.

The new internet-based training course for community-based doctors and nurses includes advice on issues such as eating disorders, self-harm and drug and alcohol abuse, as well as how to communicate with teenagers properly.

The course has been developed by bodies including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), which has previously highlighted the need for better teenage healthcare.

The announcement of the scheme came as a new report by the Chief Medical Officer called for greater attention to be paid to adolescent health.

Professor Sir Liam Donaldson made a series of recommendations including setting the permitted alcohol level for teenage drivers at zero. He also highlighted a World Health Organisation report that revealed that British teenagers are more likely to drink excessively.

Speaking at the scheme’s launch, health secretary Alan Johnson said: “The major contribution to tackling these problems is what we’re launching today.”

The training scheme is funded by the Department of Health and run by RCPCH and other colleges including the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of GPs.

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