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Deanery ‘cannot replace GP educators’ as funding cuts bite

By Gareth Iacobucci

GP educators who leave their posts will not be replaced under drastic plans to slash NHS training costs, a regional deanery has warned.

In a letter to GP educators, NHS East of England Deanery said it needed to make ‘significant savings' of 10% in this financial year, and at least 5% in the next.

As a result, it warned that ‘appointments even to existing posts in our deanery are frozen', and that ‘any GP educators who leave will not be replaced'.

One GP educator said the move felt like ‘moral blackmail' for those employed by the deanery, who fear they would be damaging future GPs' training if they left their positions.

The news comes just a week after Pulse reported the GMC's warning that the new Government's plans to scrap SHAs by 2012 in an bid to tackle NHS administration costs will have ‘major ramifications' for GP training, and could see budgets cut.

The deanery said the move would also mean that its administration team is likely to shrink in number. ‘We ask for your understanding as we tighten our corporate belts,' said the newsletter.

But Dr Mark Woolterton, GP in Brentwood, Essex and training programme director for East of England Deanery, said the cuts could put future GPs' training at risk.

‘If I resigned as a programme director tomorrow, I would not be replaced in the near future. It's slightly moral blackmail.'

‘It would have a very significant impact if any of the programme directors decided to leave - it would put at risk some of the training programmes for GP trainees.'

GP training has been hit by NHS efficiency savings GP training has been hit by NHS efficiency savings