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CAMHS won't see you now

let'spractisein...Aberdeen

Dr Paul Thomas is accusing NHS managers of 'cynically' using his near death in a diving accident as an excuse to avoid funding his new premises.

He said the lack of backing meant he had just brought up his 10th year practising from a portable building in Barham, Suffolk, with no solution in sight.

Dr Thomas said he had secured private investment for new premises and agreement from the health authority to fund the rent before his diving accident in 2002.

After spending 10 days in a coma and six months on sick leave, Dr Thomas said he then had to spend the next six months proving to his PCT that he had not suffered lasting brain damage.

When he returned to practice, he said Suffolk Coastal PCT then refused to cover the rent on the new premises. Dr Thomas accused the trust of having spent the cash earmarked for his development. He said: 'They are playing a cynical game. It's easy to get rid of a singlehander and move the patients elsewhere.

'They have delayed things until funding is no longer available.'

He added that he has 'wasted' around £150,000 on architects, designers, valuation and planning permission.

Suffolk Coastal PCT said the problem had arisen out of a 'conspiracy of circumstances' because Dr Thomas had been ill at the time the PCT took over from the health authority.

A spokeswoman said the trust was 'committed' to keeping a practice in Barham.

She said: 'We have asked Dr Thomas repeatedly to provide a business case and have clearly outlined what we need to see.'

Dr Thomas said this was 'just another delaying tactic'.

He added: 'We had an agreement way back but they keep moving the goalposts.'

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