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GPs have accused the NHS of ignoring their childcare needs. The claim came after a Government survey highlighted improvements in the services the NHS offered to employees.

The Government has invested £100 million in the NHS childcare strategy since 2000.

Health minister Lord Warner said: 'If we are

to recruit and retain our staff then we need to offer

them good pay but also support for flexible, family friendly working.'

But GPC negotiator Dr Richard Vautrey said that as independent contractors, GPs were unlikely to benefit from the cash.

He said: 'I don't know of any GPs who've had help. It's very important for any younger GPs with childcare issues ­ male or female ­ anything that could be done to help would be welcome. In terms of recruitment, childcare should certainly not be bottom of the pile.'

PCTs were the organisations least likely to provide childcare for their staff, with less than half providing nursery or creche places. The organisations providing the least care were in the East Midlands and North East region.

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