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Patient-centred medicine must survive contract

Over the years GPs have become expert at opportunistically offering screening and health advice.

This will all change as GPs pursue quality points and to assist readers this week Pulse is publishing another of its quality points aide memoires (pages 54-55).

The new contract's focus on quality indicators is bound to affect practice. Up to £40,000 of GP income a year will depend on taking a population approach and making sure all targets are met.

GPs will not feel able to let patients leave the consulting room without the 'paperwork' being completed.

And for patients, as Dr Rod Manton eloquently points out in his letter on page 22, there is a distinct risk that their agenda will be eclipsed by the demands of new contract, leaving them feeling short-changed.

A good test of the contract's ultimate success is whether it can achieve its quality aims without destroying patient-centred medicine.

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