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Plans for paediatric GPs will fragment family medicine

Oh, how I agree with Jobbing Doctor over the proposed loss of paediatrics ('Children's GPs? Let's keep the general in general practice').

Where will all these community-based specialists and paediatric nurse specialists come from? Where will they be when mum makes an appointment and ends by saying: 'While I'm here will you take a look at little Johnny?'

When will kids stop being 'paediatric' - at age 12, 18 or 21? - and how will I then be able to look after them properly when we've never met before?

My greatest allies in paediatric care were the practice-based health visitors, but 16% have gone according to the latest figures and I no longer know where my nearest health visitor is.

Perhaps I'm biased, having spent 18 months as a paediatric SHO followed by 40 years in general practice, but I still enjoy looking after children and would like to spend my few remaining working days as a family doctor rather than a QOF-inspired box ticker.

From Dr Victor Bradbury, Brentwood, Essex

This plan for children's GPs is absolutely bonkers and typical of the current vogue of change for change's sake. Where is the evidence that children's care is inadequate to justify such wholesale changes?

Families want to go to one place for their care and build a relationship with that healthcare professional.

By all means encourage continuing education and upskilling of the primary care team to manage children's health, but these plans will serve no purpose except to fragment primary care. Patients will be caught in the middle and will lose out.

From Dr Jonathan Harte, Nottingham

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