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Do not clip the wings of high-flying GPs

Not content with trying to find and deal with failing doctors, the Government watchdog, the National Clinical Assessment Authority, has shifted its attention to the top 2.5 per cent of doctors because they may cause problems for their primary care organisation.

The authority claims it can help PCOs manage these 'difficult' GPs, but the question must be asked whether high-performing GPs deserve to come under such scrutiny. High-flyers are justly self-confident about their practice, tend not to toe party lines and to succeed without the help of management. So how can they be controlled and made more politically responsive? By threatening to paralyse them with official investigation and assessment of course.

The authority must rethink. It will alienate the movers and shakers without whose efforts general practice would be a poorer place.

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