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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Professor David Price

Professor Price is a part-time GP in Norwich and professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Aberdeen – a 550-mile commute. He heads the research committees of the General Practice Airways Group and the International Primary Care Respiratory Group and is advising the Department of Health on the national service framework for COPD.

Professor Price is a part-time GP in Norwich and professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Aberdeen – a 550-mile commute. He heads the research committees of the General Practice Airways Group and the International Primary Care Respiratory Group and is advising the Department of Health on the national service framework for COPD.

If you were health minister for a day, what would you do?

Cut bureaucracy – it stifles the NHS. If I were to do a study in 55 places in the UK, I'd have to get 55 approvals. That is a disaster for a small study.

What is the one bit of advice you wish you had known before becoming a GP?

To take time. I am very privileged to travel around the world and see primary care in different countries – and where they have more consultation time, GPs are less stressed and patients get a better service.

What would you like to see in the NSF for COPD?

I am hopeful the NSF will put patients at the centre and encourage us to diagnose earlier and treat appropriately to get better outcomes.

What is the one thing that could improve the treatment of asthma in primary care?

Focusing on why asthma might not be controlled, rather than just giving more treatment – for instance smoking, rhinitis, adherence and getting the diagnosis right.

Do you think self-care works in asthma?

Everyone should have an action plan for their asthma, it is simply good medicine, but the evidence base is not there yet for self-management in asthma for all patients.

Would you support the GPC if it does launch a legal challenge to the pay freeze?

I am always wary of confrontational relationships – they should be the last resort and there is more common ground than we realise. I don't think we have fully argued our case for quality over quantity.

Are PCTs too concerned about cost?

PCTs are forced to think about costs. I'd love to be in a world where cost is not an issue, but it is important to balance the benefits.

Would you work in a polyclinic?

Probably not – I believe in personal care. They might work in inner-city London but I can't see them working in rural Norfolk.

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