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Is this pharmacist plan safe?

This week saw a damning evaluation of the Government's US-style active case management pilots. Intensive, nurse-led management was barely any better than standard GP care at keeping patients out of hospital.

Given that 'evidence-based medicine' was the Government's mantra throughout negotiations for the new GP contract, it would seem extraordinary for it to ignore the results of its own pilots. But far from scrapping the community matrons scheme ­ active case management by another name ­ it went ahead with a further announcement on how its matrons would work.

GPs already feel marginalised by the active case management drive. The Government's arrogant insistence on pressing ahead just confirms it isn't interested in the evidence.

The credibility of Dr David Colin-Thome ­ primary care tsar and chief enthusiast for matrons ­ begins to look decidedly shaky.

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