Magazine article Public Finance

Doctors Rebut Criticisms of Out-of-Hours GP Service

Magazine article Public Finance

Doctors Rebut Criticisms of Out-of-Hours GP Service

Article excerpt

Doctors' leaders and NHS managers have dismissed MPs' concerns over out-of-hours GP services.

The Public Accounts Committee this week slammed as shambolic' the introduction of the system which allowed GPs to pass responsibility for evening and weekend care on to primary care trusts.

Its March 14 report criticised the Department of Health's handsoff approach to contract negotiations, which had benefited only doctors, it said. PAC chair Edward Leigh added: '[GPs] were given a strong incentive to opt out... and a disproportionate amount of taxpayers' money is now having to be spent to provide the replacement out-of-hours service.

'To cap it all, the cost of the new service is around £70m a year more than was expected.'

But the NHS Confederation, which led the negotiations with doctors' representatives, said the report was based on the contract's first year of implementation. …

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