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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Computer glitch cost practices thousands

Pay rise for GP academics

GP academics are to receive a pay boost after the BMA struck a £3 million deal with the Government to bring salaries in line with their consultant equivalents.

Dr Mark Gabbay, senior academic GP negotiator for the BMA and a GP in Liverpool, said the move would help ease the crisis in academic medicine. A report from Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson last year showed a 36 per cent drop in clinical lecturers from 2000 to 2003.

GP fights on over phone mast

Dr Chris Nunn has lost her appeal to have a mobile phone mast removed from a site 130 metres from her house.

Dr Nunn, who claims her family's migraines are worsened by the mobile phone signals, sought to overturn a High Court decision to allow planning permission for the mast.

She has been refused the right to appeal to the House of Lords, but hopes to appeal directly to the Law Lords on human rights grounds.

Patients need family history

Patients need to be better informed about their family's health history, GPs believe.

Of the 200 GPs surveyed by Norwich Union Healthcare, 88 per cent said patients needed to know more about hereditary conditions. More than half said they did not believe the accuracy of information patients gave them.

However, in a separate survey of 1,000 people, four out of five said they did not feel they needed to know their family health history.

Infant growth tables flawed

Infant growth tables greatly overestimate how much weight babies should be gaining, the World Health Organisation warns. It said they were based on 20-year-old studies of babies fed on formula milk, failing to take into account the fact that breast-fed babies grow more slowly.

A new WHO study, presented at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine this week, found target weights could be out by 15 to 20 per cent in a three-month-old child.

'Nobel prize' for GPs created

A 'Nobel prize' for general practice is being created to acknowledge the contribution family doctors make to the world's health.

A panel of judges from the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Holland will award the first prize next year and then every three years thereafter. Dr Mayur Lakhani, left, chair of the panel and the RCGP, cited the identification of the shingles virus by GP Dr Edgar Hope-Simpson as an example of a winning feat from the past.

Over-45s need STI screening

Adults over 45 are being routinely omitted from STI prevention programmes, despite the 'consistently increasing' number becoming infected, the Royal Society of Medicine warns.

The RSM said diagnosis of older patients was more difficult because of age-related diseases. It claimed menopausal women were wrongly regarded as a low-risk group because it was assumed they would have long-term partners, but many were embarking on new relationships.

Chemists in chlamydia pilot

The Government has invited bids from independent health care providers to run pilots in chlamydia screening at high-street chemists.

Participants will provide free screening for

16- to 24-year-olds in community pharmacies across London and Cornwall. Partners will also be screened and treatment may be offered. But RCGP sexual health spokesperson Dr William Ford-Young said pharmacists would need training and monitoring.

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