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Independents' Day

GP's advice - Outvoted ­ but why so bothered?

The main problem this highlights is that working within the terms of a partnership agreement is not always easy, especially for a nominally senior partner who finds himself outvoted on an issue with which he disagrees.

Before doing anything else, you should reflect upon why this is bothering you so much. GPs, on the whole, dislike having external restrictions placed upon their prescribing, especially when they cannot engage with the decision-making process that has led to those restrictions.

But is an animal rights agenda any less rational than, say, a cost-saving agenda? How do you choose between one drug and another in the same class at the moment?

For many GPs, the honest answer is that it is influenced by the last rep we saw, the anecdotal experience of patients and colleagues, or force of habit, and is rarely a purely evidence-based process.

How far do your partners intend to go? If they are planning to change patients' long-term medication they should be prepared to draw up a leaflet explaining the reasons for the change, and patients must be given the option of remaining on their existing drugs.

When it comes to the issue of the surgery kitchen, I think you need to realise this impinges on the rights of your staff.

It is unacceptable not to allow them to keep their packed lunches, or the milk for their tea, in the fridge, and as a compromise it may be best to provide a separate fridge and microwave for the vegan members of the practice.

 · Maybe a separate fridge and microwave might be needed for the vegans

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