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GPwSIs will need RCGP accreditation

Dr Simon Opher prescribes painting classes with an 'artist in residence' to help patients with stress, relationship problems and drug misuse.

The scheme has cut medical consultations by as much as 75 per cent.

Dr Opher, a GP in Dursley, Gloucestershire, said the scheme, funded by the Adult Continued Education and Training Group, was set up after trials with a poet and ceramicist. 'It came about because of a realisation that a lot of problems are not medical,' he said.

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