£900k for doctors’ travel and digs

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The Western Trust spent almost £1m on travel and accommodation for junior doctors last year, according to the Health Minister Simon Hamilton.

The Minister made the revelation while acknowledging the Trust’s ongoing recruitment challenges.

He stated: “The Western Trust has had long running recruitment and retention difficulties in relation to all grades of medical staff, primarily due to the geographical location of the Trust.

“The Trust estimates that it will spend in the region of £13m on locum costs in the 2015/16 financial year.

“The estimated expenditure for Travel and Accommodation costs associated with Junior Doctors in the Western HSC Trust is expected to be in the region of £900k.

“My Department will continue to work closely with Trust management to support initiatives, both monetary and non-monetary, that will facilitate the recruitment and encourage the retention of medical staff. This will include building in additional training experiences, as well as support and mentoring. I have agreed to fund additional Foundation Year One medical trainees in 2016 which will help to address these issues.”