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General Practitioners

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures his Department uses to monitor patients’ access to out-of-hours general practitioner services. (180337)

We do not collect this information centrally. Primary care trusts have a responsibility to ensure they provide, or secure provision of a high quality, sustainable service that meets the needs of their local population.

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. Providers must deliver services that meet the quality requirements, as a contractual obligation. The requirements stipulate that:

patients will be guaranteed a general practitioner consultation—including a home visit if there is a clinical need;

patients are treated by the clinician best equipped to meet their needs in the most appropriate location; and

services will be regularly audited to ensure that patients are receiving quality care.