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Health Services: East Riding

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1603W, on health services: East Riding, what her Department's definition is of emergency treatment; whether a visit to a general practitioner is classed as emergency treatment; and if she will make a statement. (137340)

The Department does not define emergency treatment precisely as this is a decision for clinicians. However, the Department would expect that emergency treatment is treatment which cannot be delayed without risking serious harm to a patient, arising out of a sudden or unexpected change in their condition.

Under their contracts, general practices are required to treat anyone, regardless of whether they are registered with the practice, if they require emergency or immediately necessary treatment.

Regulation 15 paragraph 6 of the NHS (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations 2004 (2004/291) states that:

“A contractor must provide primary medical services required in core hours for the immediately necessary treatment of any person to whom the contractor has been requested to provide treatment owing to an accident and emergency at any place in its practice area.”

Paragraph 7 also states that:

“In paragraph (6), 'emergency' includes any medical emergency whether or not related to services provided under the contract”.