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Gold, incentives and meh

Practice rallies round Madeleine's GP mother

Green and yellow ribbons, teddy bears and cards adorn the practice where Dr Kate McCann, mother of missing girl Madeleine, works as a part-time GP.

As millions of people around the world follow the case of the girl's disappearance in Portugal, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, staff have received a huge outpouring of support from the GP's patients.

'Kate has the ability to relate to and appeal to the whole spectrum of the population that comes to this surgery and she is sorely missed,' said Dr Brian Kircup, partner and chair of the practice, said.

'There have been tears in the office and everybody is subdued. But patients and doctors alike are rallying around, making donations to Madeleine's Fund and going to prayer vigils.'

Carol Hodson, a receptionist at the practice and a close friend of Dr McCann, said: 'One of the receptionists decided to make the ribbons and now everybody is wearing one. Green is the Portuguese symbol of hope.'

She added: 'We can't believe how much the patients have come in wanting to help in some way. Kate was always everybody's friend and this news is absolutely devastating.'

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