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Consultants back GPs over 'ludicrous' booking scheme

GPs have successfully stalled the Government's copying letters to patients initiative.

Research by the Health Organisations Research Centre at the University of Manchester concluded that demands on GP's time and their 'scepticism about change' had led doctors to ignore the scheme.

Researchers said the Government may now have to subsume the initiative into the National Programme for Information Technology in order for it to work.

GPC negotiators have branded the scheme 'socialist, politically correct claptrap' and said GPs should not be 'obligated' to make letters available routinely.

The authors of the study, published online by Family Practice, found fewer than half of patients surveyed wanted to see copied letters.

The majority of the patients at 12 sites piloting the initiative were happy to see the letters online at the surgery. Four out of five patients were worried letters would be sent to the wrong address.

Patients felt it was important bad news was discussed at an appointment before the letter was made available to them.

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