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GP Services

Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment she has made of the GP out-of-hours service (a) nationally, (b) in Gloucestershire and (c) in Stroud constituency; (115032)

(2) what steps she is taking to recruit GPs from local practices into out-of-hours work; and if she will make a statement.

All out-of-hours services must be delivered to the national quality requirements, ensuring patients have access to consistently high quality and responsive care, regardless of where they live. Primary care trusts (PCTs) have a responsibility to ensure that they provide, or secure, provision of a high quality, sustainable service to meet the needs of their local population. PCTs must use their resources and expertise to make sure that sufficient numbers of general practitioners (GPs) are recruited to work in the out-of-hours period.

While most GPs chose to relinquish responsibility for providing out-of-hours services under the new primary care contract, many have continued to participate in the provision of out-of-hours care, working for provider organisations, such as GP co-operatives, mutual and commercial providers, or on PCT rotas.

Information is not collected centrally on the assessment of GP out-of-hours services.