GP practices warned on advertising in waiting rooms

GPs are concerned that practice deals with the Life Channel, a TV company providing health and community information on waiting room televisions, could contravene the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidelines.

The Life Channel, which installs TV monitors without charge in primary care surgeries, is planning to treble its GP practice outlets this year.

Last month prime minister Tony Blair unveiled its first screen in a school at Ferryhill Business and Enterprise College in his Sedgefield constituency in County Durham.

The channel is funded by national advertising, PCTs' health promotion campaigns and link with local pharmacies. It shows a mix of programmes including medical campaigns.

Jeremy Earley, commercial director of the Life Channel, said that frequently only one local pharmacy signs up to have its details on screen.

But Dr James Gilgrass, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex LMCs, said if the screen advertised only one pharmacy it could contravene GMC good practice guidance on patient choice.

prisca.middlemiss@haymarket.com

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