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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs need to be free spirits

As a GP for nearly 25 years I have adapted to many and varied community health administrations ­ from the old family practitioner committee to the PCT.

This latest body is certainly leaving no stone unturned in its Orwellian zeal to command and control every waking moment of not only the local doctors, but also the patients for whom we are responsible.

Notwithstanding the fact that the trust has only been in existence for 18 months, it has certainly found its feet.

Although allegedly strapped for cash, it appears to be creating substantive posts in

areas as diverse as 'public health race

equality consultant' and 'tobacco control manager'.

At present I am able to act independently as the patients' advocate when dealing with the health service and other Government agencies. This valuable service is made possible by my self-employed contractor status.

The clear desire of the PCT to create more and more more fully salaried GPs will eventually eliminate free spirits like myself from speaking out when the going gets rough.

Dr Ian James

Bolton

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