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Appraisals deadline off target

The Department of Health looks certain to miss its deadline for appraising all GPs by April.

Estimates made by primary care trusts and LMCs last week varied from one-fifth of GPs appraised to at least

one GP in each practice by April.

Watford and Three Rivers primary care trust said the 'main body' of appraisals would not commence before April 2003.

Despite the evidence, ministers have steadfastly refused to amend the April deadline

LMCs blamed lack of funding by trusts and a 'pathetic' shortage of training places for appraisers.

Dr Peter Blick, vice-chair of Dorset LMC, said just one-fifth of GPs in Poole would have been appraised because of complaints over funding.

Dr John Peniket, Gloucestershire LMC secretary, said Cheltenham and Tewkesbury PCT had plans to start appraisals but would 'not be anyway near the target by the end of March'.

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