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Northern Irish GPs left in limbo over contract deal

By Laura Passi

GPs in Northern Ireland have been left out of the 2011/12 contract agreement, as for the first time one of the devolved nations refused to sign up to the UK-wide deal.

Dr Tom Black, Deputy Chair of the BMA's Northern Ireland GP Committee, described the unprecedented situation facing GPs in Northern Ireland as ‘contractual limbo'.

He said: ‘It is unacceptable that Northern Ireland GPs and their patients will not benefit from these changes. We are already telling the Northern Ireland Assembly Government that they must sort this situation out immediately.'

Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC UK Chairman said: ‘We are extremely unhappy at the failure of the Northern Ireland Assembly Government to sign up to this deal on time. We have a four-nation contract and it is not fair to Northern Ireland GPs or their patients to leave them in this situation.'

‘We expect the Northern Ireland Assembly to sign up to the changes that have been negotiated on their behalf by the NHS Employers Organisation as soon as is practically possible.'

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Full coverage of the contract deal Money