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Independents' Day

Flu campaign: beat the delays

The new British National Formulary for Children will provide GPs with additional legal safeguards in their prescribing, its authors claim.

All GPs will receive a copy in the next two to three weeks from the Department of Health following its launch this week.

The guide, covering newborn babies to 18-year-

olds, will ensure for the

first time that GPs are working to the same advice as consultants and other health professionals.

Dr George Rylance, chair of the formulary committee, said the guide would provide legal security by setting out best practice.

Dr Stephanie Bown, head of medical services for the Medical Protection Society, said the guide would leave GPs less open to legal challenge.

'In any situation where a doctor faces a challenge over his decision he is on strong ground if he can say he was following authoritative guidelines,' she said.

But Dr Bown added that the guidelines should not

be seen as a 'clinical straightjacket'.

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