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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Time to run in a different direction

Dr Margaret McCartney made such perfect sense when she questioned all the QOF- and pharma-driven activity that dominates the working life of GPs (The lost art of standing still).

It's time for us to run in a different direction. I swim at lunch time when I can, and today my local pool was full of obese kids on their summer holidays, wallowing by the inflatables.

They come out of the pool and head for the machines full of junk food, making the entire pool visit a net calorie gain. The manager refuses to change the machines as they make the leisure company so much money.

This is a chance for GPs to take action. Dr McCartney is right – patients don't want drugs – so how about pointing them to man's best medicine?

If they have a computer, tell them about the 23 and a half hours video on YouTube.

If there is no computer at home, show this in your consultation.

Michael Mosley's Horizon programme on alternate day fasting is another good one, but too long to show in consultation.

Tell them about their local Transition Town Movement. Discuss sustainable lifestyles and allotments.

Please help steer primary care towards changes that will really make a difference.

From Dr Pip Hayes, Exeter

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