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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs plan to boycott e-booking

GPs take OOH protest to minister

A group of GPs threatening legal action if they are forced to carry on doing out-of-hours have written to the Scottish health minister to protest at their plight.

The 13 Highlands GPs said they were still in the dark over whether they could transfer responsibility on the promised date of December 1.

NHS Highland has threatened to use the exceptional circumstances clause to delay the opt-out into next year.

Dr Ewen Pearson, a GP in Wick, said the GPs had received a letter from the health board which said it could revoke the opt-out, but it did not confirm any arrangements.

'The uncertainty is unsettling,' Dr Pearson said. 'From my personal point of view my wife is expecting a baby and my family is visiting at Christmas.

'These things might not seem like much to the politicians but from my point of view it's extremely important.'

Dr Moray Fraser, a GP in Thurso, Caithness, said the GPs had received 'mixed messages'.

GPs have boosted NHS quality of care

GPs have improved value for money and quality of care in the NHS by taking on more work from hospitals, Health Secretary John Reid has said.

Responding to an Office for National Statistics report which showed a drop in NHS productivity under Labour, Mr Reid said the report did not include the fact that 'GP consultations are lasting longer'. He added more than 700,000 procedures previously done in hospital every year are now carried out in primary care.

London has fewest doctors per head

London has fewer doctors per head of population than any other European capital city, EU figures reveal.

With just 0.6 per 1,000 residents, London has fewer than a third the number of the next worst city, Berlin ­ which has 2.1 doctors for every 1,000 people.

Lisbon topped the list at 11.3, according to the figures compiled by Eurostat, with Vienna (7.5) and Luxembourg (7.2) next.

In the UK, only Portsmouth, at 0.5, had fewer doctors. Cambridge has the highest ratio in the UK

with 0.8.

GP arrested on suspicion of murder

A GP in Essex has been arrested on suspicion of murdering an elderly patient.Dr Paul Davis, a GP in Castle Hardingham, was arrested by police investigating the death of 86-year-old George Letch, who died at his home on December 9 last year.

The GP was subsequently released on police bail.Witham, Braintree and Halstead Care Trust stressed that no charges had been brought against the GP, but he had agreed not to practise while under investigation.

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