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At the heart of general practice since 1960


GMC 'interventions' victory

The GMC has won its High Court appeal against a ruling which gave a patient with a degenerative condition the right to stop doctors withdrawing food and drink without his consent.

Leslie Burke, who won the landmark ruling a year ago, had wanted his right to artificial hydration and nutrition guaranteed. Mr Burke suffers from cerebellar ataxia. But the GMC argued the original decision by Mr Justice Munby put doctors in an impossible position.

Antibiotic resistance attack

The Health Protection Agency is urging a four-pronged approach to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance, as it launched its annual report this week.

Dr David Livermore, director of the HPA's antimicrobial resistance monitoring and reference laboratory, said four things to combat resistance were using antibiotics less, using the best antibiotic, prevention of cross infection, and development of new drugs. He added antibiotic use had fallen by 20 per cent since a peak in the late 1990s.

CMO warns GPs on rickets

GPs need to be vigilant in identifying patients at risk from rickets and ensure they receive added supplements of vitamin D, the Chief Medical Officer has warned.

In the CMO's latest update, he said there had been a 're-emergence of rickets in parts of the country'.

At-risk groups included south Asian and African-Caribbean women and children and other groups who cover up fully for cultural reasons. This is because these groups may not get enough natural vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, the CMO said.

Seniority pay figures set

The estimated average superannuable income for GPs for 2005/6 has been set at £80,940. The decision means GPs have to earn more than £26,980, one-third of the estimated average, to qualify for seniority payments.

GPs earning between £26,980 and £53,960, two-thirds of the estimate, are entitled to 60 per cent of the seniority payment. GPs earnings more than two-thirds qualify for full seniority pay.

Community hospitals advice

The GPC has released new guidance for GPs working in community hospitals detailing what action they can take in local negotiations to improve pay and conditions.

The guidance includes the Powys service level agreement negotiated by GPC Wales for LMCs and GPs to use as a benchmark.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said the GPC was continuing to 'press for urgent and exclusive UK-wide negotiations on the work of GPs in community hospitals'.

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