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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs deserve to get joined-up clinical advice

The plethora of clinical guidelines emanating from various Government officials and quangos makes life difficult enough for GPs. But now they are conflicting with each other.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has come under fire because the evidence for key advice in its COPD and depression guidelines is, at best, equivocal. In a further dent to NICE's credibility, the Committee on Safety of Medicines has issued a warning on valproate that casts doubt on the draft epilepsy guidance.

GPs are already torn ­ between focusing on the quality framework in a bid to maximise pay or prioritising national service framework targets to impress CHI inspectors.

If ministers are serious about implementing evidence-based medicine it's time they ordered a bit of 'joined-up thinking' between NICE and the other official bodies instead of spewing out guidelines faster than GPs can read them.

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