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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 14:42 GMT
GP launches YouTube health films
A practice sister demonstrates an inhaler on the YouTube video
Video tips include how to use an asthma inhaler
A GPs' surgery in mid Wales has launched a series of health education films on YouTube, better known as a website featuring home videos.

Advice about flu vaccination and cervical screening are two of the topics covered by Builth and Llanwrtyd Medical Practice in Powys.

Doctors said they wanted to help educate their 7,700 patients and a wider global audience.

Last year, the surgery launched a series of podcasts to advise patients.

YouTube allows users to upload their home videos and other clips online.

Dr Richard Walters, who helped to develop the practice's project, said surgeries normally printed leaflets to advise patients, but added that things were changing.

Sometimes getting patients to watch a quick video on the computer screen is a lot easier.
Dr Richard Walters

He told the Western Mail newspaper: "There are a lot of things that we do in a GP practice that have to be conveyed to patients, some of which are not easy to demonstrate within the surgery.

"Sometimes getting patients to watch a quick video on the computer screen is a lot easier."

He added: "We are a practice in rural mid Wales, shops in Hereford and Aberystwyth are an hour away, Cardiff an hour-and-a-half, so although broadband access is not ideal, people tend to use the internet for all sorts of things."

MP3 player
People can watch the surgery's podcast via an MP3 player too

The practice, which covers more than 500 square miles (1,295 sq kms), hopes its advice online will avoid unnecessary travelling to a see a doctor.

The videos include tips about asthma inhalers, smear testing, blood sugar testing and the winter flu vaccine, and are made by two practice nurses.

New topics are planned to be added every month.

As well as being available on YouTube, the videos are posted on the practice's own website and can be downloaded onto an MP3 player.

The surgery is no stranger to using modern technology to get across its health messages to patients.

Last year, it launched podcasts demonstrating, among other topics, how to use an asthma inhaler properly.


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