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CAMHS won't see you now

GPs beat all predictions to score 959 QOF points

Postgraduate deaneries are warning that future GP registrar places are in jeopardy after promised Government budget increases failed to meet their expectations.

Although 'indicative' budgets, given to deaneries five months after the start of the financial year, show a 7.4 per cent average increase, some

areas have been given only 4.7 per cent.

The less-than-expected rise follows swingeing cuts last year, which caused deaneries to make backroom staff redundant in order to maintain registrar places.

Some deaneries said they had also lost millions of pounds this year as a result of a 'smoothing factor' applied by the Government in order to even up the allocations between under- and over-doctored areas.

Dr Jas Bilkhu, postgraduate medical dean of general practice for Trent deanery, said its allocation was 'worse news than last year'.

He said: 'There's no way we can carry on with the same activity as last year. We will try to protect the registrar and trainee places but the biggest part of the budget is salaries and we will look at that if we have to.'

He added that the smoothing factor meant the deanery would lose £3 million from its budget.

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC negotiator with responsibility for education, said deaneries in Yorkshire had also been hit by the smoothing factor. 'I don't think Yorkshire people like to be smoothed,' he said.

'Whether you call it a cut or a smooth it amounts to the same thing. There is a concern in the deaneries that the allocation isn't what they wanted ­ there will probably be the need for cutting staff.'

Dr Vautrey added: 'It seems that balancing the books comes before developing the profession.'

Professor Pat Lane, director of postgraduate GP education at the South Yorkshire and South Humberside deanery said some areas had been

'inadequately funded' for years.

By Rob Finch

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