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At the heart of general practice since 1960

PMS contract 'has gone pear-shaped'

Dr Gary Parkes is persuading smokers to give up by using spirometry to demonstrate the damage they are doing to their lungs. Dr Parkes, a GP in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, achieved a 10 per cent quitting rate in a pilot study and has now been awarded £97,631 from the Health Foundation to run a 500-patient trial.

He said: 'Nobody has ever researched the effects of telling people in simple English that their lungs are being damaged. When you tell patients they have the lungs of a 90-year-old they go very quiet ­ usually they already suspect something is wrong with their lungs. Then they say "Can I book into the smoking cessation clinic?".'

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