News in brief 080208

GP gifts GPs receive more gifts from patients than any other doctors, according to a survey by the Medical Defence Union. The survey found that GPs were more likely than their hospital-based colleagues to receive gifts ranging from chocolates to vintage champagne. Dr Catherine Wills, an MDU legal adviser, warned that gifts could be misconstrued and provoke complaints. The contract requires GPs to keep a register of all gifts worth over £100.

NICE guidance on stents Drug-eluting stents should be used in patients with severe coronary artery disease, according to a draft NICE guideline. The move is hoped to prevent repeated replacement of bare metal stents. Patients will be eligible if they have a coronary artery smaller than 3mm in diameter or the section of artery to be stented is longer than 15mm. However, drug-eluting stents should only be used if the cost is no more than £300 above the price of a bare metal stent. The guideline is open to appeal until 15 February.

GPs launch Facebook campaign GPs Dr Sarah Bedford, from Doncaster, and Dr Mark Oliver, from Staffordshire, have set up a campaigning Facebook group to 'Protect NHS General Practice'. Find it at

Correction - GP would like to make a correction to the story 'Pharmacist prescriber pilots "undermine" general practice' (GP, 1 February 2008). It stated that independent prescriber pharmacists are being assigned to GP surgeries, despite GPC protests that the move threatens the future of general practice. Rather than the pharmacists being assigned, GP practices are choosing to pay the PCT for independent prescriber pharmacists to work in their practice.

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