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Benett takes your demands to polls

The Government's refusal to allow exception reporting for childhood vaccines amounts to discrimination against small practices, GPs have claimed.

The Small Practices Association this week pledged its support to Pulse's campaign to allow informed dissent as stories emerged of the inequities of the current system.

Dr Michael Taylor, the association's chair, said: 'Little random variations in uptake can make such a huge difference for small practices. And most small practices are in the inner city where it's much more difficult to get patients to come in.'

Dr Grant Ingrams, a GP in a one-and-a-half-partner practice in Coventry, said: 'Last quarter I had 100 per cent uptake of MMR but we have now got three recanters which will drop us down to 50 per cent.

'We had an outbreak of mumps which resulted in a couple of long-term dissenters coming in but I think it will take an outbreak of measles to make a real difference.'

Dr Rod Manton, a GP in Woodley, Cheshire, said: 'When you are a small practice it can really wipe you out.

'I've always felt it was an unfair system. You do your best and spend a lot of time providing information but the patient has made their mind up.'

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