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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs facing huge losses over staff

Northern Ireland GPs are facing major financial losses because the cost of staff recruited after June 2003 has not been included in their new contract income.

Many practices have recruited more staff since the calculation period for global sum and MPIG figures.

Dr Ian Clements, treasurer of Eastern LMC, said overall the shortfall in his area was £400,000 with some practices standing to lose up to £40,000.

He added: 'I feel this is the biggest single issue in the next couple of months.'

A motion by Dr Colin Hegan, chair of Northern LMC, instructing the GPC to challenge boards over the figures, was passed unanimously.

'The problem seemed to have been solved when the statement of financial entitlement was changed to say boards have the ability to put adjustments in respect of staff vacancies,' Dr Hegan said.

'The Department of Health says the flexibility is there but not the money. The boards have to find the money and they are reluctant to do that,' he added.

GPC Northern Ireland chair Dr Brian Dunn said paragraph D13 of the statement of financial entitlements had been amended so boards could add in for extra staff 'where appropriate'.

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