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Rights and duties of a GP will be set out

GPs' roles, rights and responsibilities are to be defined in a new agreement being drawn up by Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson.

The 'compact', announced at a recent GMC dinner by Health Secretary Alan Milburn, will also identify the responsibilities of patients and politicians.

Mr Milburn said the agreement would aim to halt the growing litigiousness of the NHS and allow everyone involved with the service to learn from their mistakes.

'We all make mistakes. Even Health Secretaries occasionally make mistakes,' he said.

'We need to have the courage to recognise that the best people can make the worst mistakes.'

Sir Liam is to meet with

patient groups and organisations responsible for medical standards, such as the GMC, to draw up the 'explicit'

compact.

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