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Diagnosis alone cannot stop bullies

I read your report on the schools health education unit's research on bullying (TES, June 28) with interest. Most general practitioners recognise that people with fundamental problems such as persistent bullying at school, will often consult them with superficial ailments, and it is the task of the doctor to identify the underlying cause. I have a number of young patients whom I know to be suffering from bullying at school, and am treating them accordingly, but while I am doing so, the situation remains unchanged at the school.

I know which schools in my area have the worst bullying record, and I suspect that many GPs have a good idea of what goes on in their local schools, but the problem is how this information can be used to reduce bullying. Although I cannot give names of the children involved, I have contacted the headteacher of one school, telling him of my concerns and offering to help, but there has been no response whatsoever, not even an acknowledgement.

So, even if GPs are more clued up to bullying, how can this be used to improve the situation for children who spend their school lives in fear of the school bullies?

PETER KANDELA

107 Feltham Hill Road

Ashford

Middlesex

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