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Drug companies are told to rein back on 'free lunches'

PCTs must change the way patients are allocated because it is threatening care standards, GPs in Staffordshire say.

GPs have complained that the current allocations system is unfair because it is based purely on the number of partners in a practice.

Staffordshire LMC said trusts were also allocating patients from outside practice boundaries, forcing GPs to remove the patients from their lists after 10 days on safety grounds.

Patients ­ most of whom were in nursing homes ­ were then being transferred to other unwilling practices, which were using the same rule to remove them again.

The LMC has called for PCTs to talk to GPs before allocating.

Dr David Dickson, secretary of South Staffordshire LMC and a GP in Burton-on-Trent, said: 'There are regulations on allocations but it's more to do with the patient's rights than about the practice's.'

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