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Dr Gary Calver plans to ensure Tory leader Michael Howard is left in no doubt about the scale of the threat to traditional general practice when they meet in the first wave of MPs' practice visits arranged by Pulse.

Dr Calver, who practises in Mr Howard's Folkestone and Hythe constituency, is one of scores of GPs who have offered to show their MP round their practice as part of the Pulse initiative.

He said he would be happy to have Mr Howard sit in on patient consultations ­ with patient consent ­ and would love to 'bend the ear' of the Opposition leader. He is particularly fearful for the future of the core values of the profession under the Government's policies.

Mr Howard ­ who gave his full backing to the Pulse Manifesto for General Practice earlier this year ­ said he would be 'delighted' to visit a practice to learn more about GPs' work.

The Pulse initiative aims to improve MPs' understanding of the complexities of general practice and the contribution GPs make to the NHS. More than 50 MPs have so far agreed to take part.

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