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RCGP challenges BMA 'leadership void'

Dr Norman Beale has found that looking at council tax bands can predict whether a patient is likely to smoke ­ and if it is worth raising the issue in consultations.

Dr Beale, a GP in Calne, Wiltshire, studied valuations in homes around his practice

and found there was a smoker in 50 per cent of houses in bands A or B, but in only

20 per cent in C and D.

Dr Beale said: 'It's a way of pre-arming yourself in consultations. This information is available and could be applied to every address.'

Dr Beale, part of whose study is published in Family Practice (June), also found council tax bands accurately predicted the workload generated by each patient and the cost of treating them.

He said: 'I think this

would stand up better than Roy Carr-Hill as some of the integral factors are quite debatable.'

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