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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Epidemic as mumps rates soar

High-profile scandals such as Harold Shipman and Clifford Ayling have not dented patients' trust in GPs.

Of the 600 patients who responded to Newcastle and North Tyneside LMCs' survey, 63 per cent disagreed with the statement that their trust in their doctors had been damaged.

GPs said the result showed patients had seen through the negative media coverage in the wake of the cases.

Professor Aziz Sheikh, professor of primary care research and development at the University of Edinburgh, said the immediate doctor-patient relationship was more important than medical scandals.

He said: 'I think the scandals have been a cause for concern but my sense of what patients think is that they are isolated incidents.'

Professor Sheikh, who is conducting a Cochrane review on the issue, said trust was a 'complex process'.

Dr David Wrigley, a GP in Carnforth, Lancashire, and deputy chair of Developing Patient Partnerships, said the findings backed other surveys that showed doctors were the most trusted profession.

He said: 'Patients have seen through the media coverage.'

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