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A doctor was paid pounds 125,000 to sit at home for almost TWO YEARS before finally being sacked.

Consultant geriatrician Kenneth McAlpine was suspended from his pounds 65,000- a-year post in 1995.

But as he stayed at home he continued to pocket his NHS salary.

It was only on Thursday that health chiefs told Dr McAlpine not to return to his job.

And he was then given three months "notice" on full pay.

But the decision has sparked fury among staff at Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital.

And last night Jim Devine of health union Unison, said: "It's of concern that someone on a salary of pounds 65,000 should be sitting at home for more than two years.

"I have to say that the length of time that this has taken does not seem to be normal for NHS disciplinary procedures."

The investigation into Dr McAlpine was launched after complaints by at least one colleague. The reason for the dismissal was given as an "irrevocable breakdown in working relationships".

But last night health bosses admitted the saga may continue as Dr McAlpine can appeal to the Secretary of State.

An insider said: "If he goes on to win his case they would then have to backdate his pay."

Dr McAlpine caused a storm several years ago when he headed an inquiry that led to the dismissal of the matron of Glasgow's East Park children's home.

Staff were furious at the sacking of Eleanor McCreadie, 55, who worked at the home for severely handicapped children for eight years.

Last night Dr McAlpine refused to comment at his home in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire.

A Renfrewshire Healthcare NHS Trust spokesman said:

"The decision taken is that Dr McAlpine's employment has been terminated with notice of three months ending on January 30, 1998.

"He has been asked not to return to work during the period of notice.

"His contract has been terminated but he's been advised that he has the right of appeal to the Secretary of State.

"The reason for this decision is because of an irrevocable breakdown in working relationships.

"The procedure for disciplinary procedure of a consultant is a long and complex one."
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 2, 1997
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