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GP trainers' anger as grant is 'nicked'

GP trainers in Northern Ireland have had one-third of their professional development payments withheld.

The GPs were e-mailed last month with the news that £250 of their £750 grant was to be retained by their local deanery.

The deaneries intend to use the money to create a 'bursary' fund. Trainers must apply to cover expenses for courses and conferences from the fund.

Dr Mark Cathcart, a trainer in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, said the cash had been 'nicked'.

He said: 'The £750 is the least of our worries, but it's a bad indictment of the system. It's pretty devious really.'

Dr Cathcart said a local trainers' group had agreed to pursue the money as far as the small claims court. However, he expressed sympathy for the deanery's financial plight.

Health minister Lord Warner had pledged to ensure each SHA had the money by the end of January.

The GPC has asked LMCs to notify it of any cases where trainers fail to receive their payment by the end of this month.

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