A random sample of general practitioners and their nursing staff was interviewed to examine the extent to which the doctors delegated medical tasks to the nurses and to analyse attitudes towards delegation. A significant minority of both doctors and nurses were reluctant to have minor clinical tasks delegated and a majority did not think that nurses should carry out delegated diagnostic procedures. Doctors and nurses who had completed their training since 1960 were more likely to favour delegation than those who had completed their training before 1960. This suggests that delegation may become more common. However, the finding that there is considerable opposition to delegation and that this opposition is often based on feelings of professional threat suggests that many doctors may not be ready to experiment with ways of expanding the nurse's role in general practice.