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GP surgeries prepare for MP visits

A doctors' union is inviting MPs in England to visit their local surgery in order to see general practice in action.

The scheme is aimed at giving MPs the opportunity to learn more about the unique contribution of GP clinics in delivering patient care.

The initiative was first launched by the British Medical Association (BMA) in October 2008, and the drive has so far seen 123 MPs visit a practice in their constituency.

MPs from across the political parties have participated in the scheme and the BMA hopes that many more MPs will take the opportunity to visit local clinics.

One of the first surgeries to participate in the latest round of visits was that of Leeds-based Dr Richard Vautrey and staff, who met their local MP in January this year.

Dr Vautrey, who is deputy chairman of the BMA General Practitioners Committee, said: "We had a very positive visit and the MP was able to hear the concerns of not just GPs, but of the practice staff and attached community nursing staff.

"I would encourage GP practices to volunteer to help the BMA as it's a valuable experience for all involved."

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British Medical Association