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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP locked out by former partners

A GP has been barred from his practice after his former partners took out a court injunction and changed the locks in a dispute over his retirement plans.

Dr Ronnie Cook was served with an interim interdict after he returned from a one-month break taken so that he could draw his NHS pension yet continue practising.

Dr Cook had worked alongside the senior partner at the practice in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, for 20 years until the partnership dissolved in 2001. He then signed an agreement with the four partners at the new PMS practice allowing him to carry on as a GMS singlehander at their new premises until he retired.

Dr Cook told Pulse the partners had interpreted his break as full retirement even though they knew he planned to return because he had a full surgery booked.

He added he was not on friendly terms with the other GPs and the only communication between them was through letters via the trust. 'I wouldn't say there is open hostility, but there's certainly no open friendship. I have felt marginalised.'

In a statement on behalf of the four GPs, Dr Arnar Mirshra said Dr Cook 'had always been well liked by colleagues' but they thought he 'understood the legal situation on his retirement. We truly regret that attempts to resolve this amicably weren't successful.'

The last thing any of us envisaged or wanted was to have to take out an injunction.'

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