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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Oh yeah, Mr Hutton, would you do night surgeries?

Next month the Government will demonstrate once and for all that it couldn't give a stuff about the workload crisis facing GPs. Its White Paper on public health will contain plans to give everyone ­ ill or not ­ the right to a 'personal health plan' from their GP.

This staggering pledge is set to turn practices into the equivalent of a health club, with GPs acting as glorified gym instructors handing out fitness plans to patients who have put on a few pounds.

Leaving aside what a 'personal health plan' is and what exactly ministers think GPs do when they see a patient now, it is hard to see how they expect this harebrained scheme to work.

Do they think each GP can magic 1,500

10-minute slots into their cramped appointment books?

This breathtakingly ill-conceived plan will do little for public health, but will send a tidal wave of worried well to practices already swamped with patients who are actually ill.

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