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Letter: Don't ring your GP

Sir: Patients with long-term illness need to have direct access to their doctors, simply so they can "help themselves". Many millions of people who live with illness for life, and for whom there is no cure, cope best when they know they can get access to quick advice from their doctor, when they know they need it.

The proposals to channel all requests through nurses make an assumption that living with serious, long-term illness needs the same approach as coughs and colds.

Introducing such ideas without consultation with patient organisations does not seem to be in keeping with the emerging patient partnership strategy. We support NHS Direct but this is an unplanned and could well be an inappropriate development.



The Long-term Medical Conditions Alliance

London EC1