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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP gives second opinion on referrals

The Ayling Inquiry report has raised concerns over the working practices of singlehanded GPs.

The report marks singlehanders out for special treatment due to their 'professional isolation'.

Disgraced former Kent GP Clifford Ayling, who was convicted four years ago of sexually abusing female patients, worked for 15 years as a singlehander and had limited contact with other community nursing staff.

The report recommended that PCTs develop specific support programmes for singlehanded GPs to pay 'critical attention to managing the risks of clinical and professional isolation associated with singlehanded practice'.

PCTs should also give more support to singlehanded practice managers, 'including the acknowledgement and resolution of potential conflicts of interest which may arise

where the manager is the spouse or close relative of the practitioner.'

Dr Gary Calver, Kent LMC medical secretary, said it was unfair to imply that singlehanded GPs presented a greater risk to patient safety. 'What happened was nothing to do with him being a singlehander,' he added.

lMore from inquiry, page 2

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