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General Practitioners

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 25 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many trained general practitioners have provided locum cover in primary care in the past 12 months in Northern Ireland. [120981]

Information is not held centrally on the number of general practitioners who have provided locum cover in primary care. There are currently approximately 160 trained GPs available to provide locum cover.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 9 June 2003, Official Report, column 698W, on GPs, how many vacancies exist among the permanent general practice posts; and how many have required locum cover for more than six weeks in the past 12 months. [121008]

The Department does not hold information on vacancies in multi-handed GP practices.In the case of a vacancy in a single-handed GP practice the relevant Health and Social Services Board would be responsible for the arrangement of locum cover until a replacement is appointed. In the last 12 months there has been one such case, which lasted more than six weeks.Selection of a doctor for partnership in a multi-handed GP Practice is a matter for that practice and information about locum cover for such posts is not held centrally.