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GPs urged to bid for chlamydia testing

The Government now wants to 'encourage' GP involvement in national chlamydia screening in an apparent U-turn after pressure from its health select committee.

But co-ordinators of the original pilots have questioned whether the cash will stretch far enough as the Department of Health now says it will promote greater screening uptake among men.

Following an initial roll-out at 10 sites, a further 10 will receive funds to set up and provide screening, but the cash will disappear in 2005/6.

GPs are being invited to bid for the service but only at the same cost as providers such as genitourinary clinics.

Dr Jenny Hopwood, co-ordinator of a chlamydia pilot in Wirral, Merseyside, is discuss-ing with the department how to 'sell' testing to GPs.

Dr Hopwood, a senior clinical medical officer at St Catherine's Hospital, Merseyside, warned: 'The funding has got to be looked at realistically.'

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