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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Hospital data may prompt varicella vaccine rethink

The skills mix 'shopping list' produced this week by NatPaCT, the Government's faceless modernisation arm, could be dismissed as just another piece of bureaucratic lunacy but it is more sinister than that.

Its underlying logic ­ that almost every aspect of GP work can be divvied up among pharmacists and practice nurses ­ highlights yet again the total lack of understanding within Government of the role of the generalist.

Patients don't usually present with one-dimensional problems that can be neatly packaged into disease areas.

They often present with a plethora of unsorted social and medical complaints that only a GP has the skills to sift.

The Government should stop wasting money on flights of fancy and invest in what really counts ­ helping GPs to treat their patients.

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