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Survey suggests many in North-East are delaying a trip to their GP
PEOPLE in the North-East are delaying visiting their GP and are putting their health at risk, according to a new survey.
Two in five North-East residents say they have delayed visiting their GP after experiencing worrying symptoms.
As a result, more than three in four claimed their symptoms stayed the same or worsened; one in three were advised by their GP that they should have come earlier; one in six had to be prescribed a stronger course of treatment and one in six were also told they had a 'lucky escape'.
When asked why they put off visiting their GP, more than half of respondents thought symptoms would clear up on their own and more than a third didn't want to waste their GP's time.
One in five researched their symptoms and felt they didn't need to go to their GP and more than a third tried to self-treat using over the counter medicines.
The survey, conducted by The Information Standard - which certifies if health and care information is correct - also found that over half of those who delayed a visit to their GP turned to the internet for health information instead.
Ann Robinson, director of public awareness for The Information Standard, said: "People are delaying their GP visit for various reasons, but regardless of the reason why, our concern is that people are admitting to self-diagnosing and self-treating in the meantime.
"Unreliable health information in these circumstances could then have a detrimental effect on their health. If people are looking for health information, they should make sure it's trustworthy.
"Our advice is simple; look out for The Information Standard quality mark on health websites and leaflets - if you can see the mark then you can feel confident that the information you're reading is reliable."
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