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The months ahead

January

The Government releases its Community Health Care White Paper, which is expected to herald a sea change in the way GPs and primary care providers operate. Dual registration, longer opening hours and more private competition against practices have been trailed by ministers for inclusion.

Feb/March

CMO Sir Liam Donaldson publishes his review of revalidation and the GMC. The review, which was triggered by the final report of the Shipman Inquiry in December 2004, is set to bring in tougher regulation of GPs, including revalidation every five years rather than seven as originally proposed. The GMC is also likely to be told to give up its role in adjudicating fitness to practise.

April

The phase-in of the national bowel cancer screening programme begins. Everyone aged

60-69 is to be screened every two years, with the initial roll-out costs an estimated £37.5 million.

www.cancerscreening.

nhs.uk

May

NICE will publish updated hypertension guidance, in collaboration with the British Hypertension Society, after deliberating over the results of the landmark but controversial ASCOT trial.

www.nice.org.uk

www.bhsoc.org

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