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General Practitioners

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what dates representatives from his Department have met representatives of general practitioners to discuss changes to the quality and outcomes framework in the last six months. (184516)

NHS Employers conduct negotiations on the General Medical Services Contract with the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the British Medical Association. Officials from the Department are not normally present. Within the last six months, an official from the Department of Health attended only one meeting of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Negotiating Sub Group, on 23 August 2007 as an observer. Wider meetings between Department officials and representatives of the GPC do also take place regularly but not specifically to discuss changes to the QOF.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to enable people to register with a GP practising outside the primary care trust area in which they live. (185775)

Regulations allow a practice to accept a person living outside its boundary on to its list of national health service patients if it wishes to do so. In accepting a patient, a practice has obligations to provide certain services such as home visits. If the practice is unable to fulfil this obligation, it is a reasonable ground to refuse a person living outside a practice area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of hours per week GPs spent on practice-based commissioning in the most recent period for which figures are available. (185825)

The Department does not routinely collect information centrally on the number of hours per week general practitioners spend on practice-based commissioning.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to increase the number of open GP lists. (185934)

Primary care trusts will only grant a general practitioner practice closed list-status once both parties have made reasonable endeavours to keep the list open and the conclusion is that this is not possible.

The Department is currently exploring, as part of the Next Stages Review being undertaken by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Lord Darzi), whether further action is needed to better ensure patients have more choice of practices with which to register.