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Criticism of GP paediatrics is demoralising

Perhaps the most damming of the quotes in 'GPs lack skills to detect serious childhood illness' (July 21) came from the RCGP spokesman Dr Ruth Bastable. Focusing on the difficulties of implementing an alternative system misses the point, and the opportunity to debunk the very hypotheses on which these proposals are based.

Is there any evidence to support the contentions made? It could be argued that GPs, even with their (in some cases) limited training in paediatrics, achieve a high level of accessible cost-effective care.

An equally subjective assessment: the 'failures' represent a very small percentage of the total number seen and possibly could not be bettered by any other group working in the same system and circumstances.

It is easy to criticise a service, but it should be based on objective evidence and valid comparisons. This perpetual sniping is demoralising and unjustified.

Dr Norman Segall

Greenford, Middlesex

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