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Paediatric GPs will ruin general practice

Perhaps the plan for paediatric GPs is just another underhand way to drastically cut our list sizes and hence income, by removing all children from our lists ('Paediatric GP plans being rolled out across the country')

No doubt the 'children's GPs' will be based in polyclinics - so in fact the parents will probably end up registering there too for convenience.

The thing that really grates is that the part of my job I enjoy most is seeing children. I look after the mums, run a busy baby clinic and see most of the kids registered. I have a great relationship with the families - they not only know me well but also know my own kids, which gives a great level of trust. If the ability to look after children is taken away from me, I can't see much point in remaining in this job. What a shame.

From Dr Juliet Millwaters, Blackheath, London

Thanks for drawing attention to these daft proposals ('The end of family practice?'). It seems the Government has learned nothing from the polyclinic fiasco and the waste of money that is NHS Direct.

When will they consult people who know about grassroots general practice?

I cannot understand how they can propose replacing GPs, who have gone through vocational training including, for the majority, a paediatric placement, followed by years of experience gained from treating children every day, with specialist nurses (who will have done a short and probably superficial course in paediatrics) and GPSIs (ditto).

I did a year as a paediatric SHO in a busy general hospital, covering casualty, the children's ward, labour ward, postnatal wards and paediatric outpatients, plus sessions as a paediatric CMO doing school medicals and infant welfare clinics in the community. This has been followed by nearly 25 years in general practice, treating children every day.

Knowing the family context is of huge value in assessing the child and only GPs are well-placed to instantly access this information. Much knowledge we need about the family is often carried in our heads.

This will spell the end of general practice - the system of caring for whole families that makes our health system unique, so valuable and so appreciated by our patients.

From Dr Fiona Underhill, South Woodford, east London

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