Additional practices win share of cash for training upgrade

More than 800 practices have received cash to upgrade their facilities for training from a £100 million DoH fund.

The fund was originally tar-geted at 600 practices, with each expected to receive £150,000-170,000 each.

But the DoH has revealed that upgrades were cheaper than expected, and the programme was extended to at least 200 more practices.

Practices covered by the scheme will become 'advanced training practices'.

A DoH spokesman said: 'More than 800 GP practices have been granted funding to improve and extend training facilities. This funding supports the extension of practice placements from 12 months to 18 months, and the planned expansion of GP training numbers up until 2011.'

However, Dr Lynne Sanderson from the Rolle Medical Partnership at Exmouth Health Centre in Devon said her practice's application to develop its branch surgery was refused.

With £125,000, she said: 'You could build an extra room. For us that would mean we could have two registrars instead of one.'

Roughly £80 million of the funding was due to go to prac-tices in underdoctored areas.

The DoH envisaged on aver-age seven practices winning funding in PCTs with the low-est doctor-patient ratios.

The £20 million balance was to be spread across the 50 per cent of PCTs with the highest number of GPs per 100,000 population on a weighted capi-tation basis.

The money is to be spent on upgrading existing GP prem-ises and is intended to ensure lack of accommodation is not a barrier to increasing GP registrar placements.

By 2011, an extra 600 GP registrars will come on board in England. Practices receiving funding have to agree to GP registrar placements for at least five years or repay some of the money.

The money for practices in England has to be spent by 31 March 2010.

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