As NICE considers lowering the current threshold for a diagnosis of hypertension, the Royal College of General Practitioners has warned of the dangers of overdiagnosis and unnecessary prescribing.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "High blood pressure, or hypertension, already affects a very large number of patients in the UK. Lowering the threshold for making the diagnosis of any condition is a significant decision that will affect thousands, if not millions of patients, and must not be taken lightly.
"One concern GPs already have is overdiagnosis - where we are giving a label to a situation thereby medicalising it, and prescribing medications when the benefits to the individual patient may be very limited. This can be harmful for patients both in terms of causing unnecessary anxiety, and in terms of taking medication that they might not need.
Resource packs to support GPs and their teams to make their surgeries more visibly friendly for patients with an autism spectrum disorder have been sent to every GP practice in England this week.
The packs aim to support GP practices to meet the commitments in the RCGP autism patient charter, which provides a framework for making GP surgeries more visibly friendly for those on the autistic spectrum.
Resources in the pack include a guide for patients on the autistic spectrum to help them get the most out of their GP visit, and a guide for GPs to support effectively consultations with patients on the autistic spectrum.