GPs reject Hunt proposal on out of hours care

pharmafield logo - pharma news

BRITAIN-POLITICS UK GPs have voted against taking back responsibility for out of hours medical care, as proposed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Following a debate at the annual London conference of local medical committees, representatives voted overwhelmingly to retain their current policy of not being responsible for out of hours care.

One of the key arguments used against the proposal is that GPs now commission local out of hours services via CCGs.

Speaking to the King’s Fund last week, Hunt said he planned to make GPs more “accountable” for out of hours care, and would push for changes to the 2004 GP contract in that respect.

His statement followed his repeated claims that GPs were to blame for increased attendance at A&E departments – which provoked much anger among GPs.

In an emergency debate, representatives considered a motion accepting that GPs should take back responsibility if certain conditions were met: “guaranteed minimum funding; private providers cannot be involved as GPs will be ‘responsible’ for outcomes; all funding from NHS 111 is transferred to GPs out of hours.”

However, the motion was defeated. Una Duffy, chair of Bedfordshire local medical committee, said: “Such proposals are unacceptable and should be robustly opposed by the GPC.”

John Grenville of Derbyshire local medical committee noted that CCGs were already overseeing out of hours care provision, which meant that GSs were “de facto” responsible for it.