Exclusive: Conservative push for GPs at heart of out of hours

The Conservatives want to encourage competition to provide out-of-hours care with GPs at the heart of the plan.

Andrew Lansley
Andrew Lansley

Speaking exclusively to GP, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley gave the example of social enterprise Devon Doctors.

It is owned by Devon’s 176 practices and provides out-of-hours care for the 1.2 million residents of that county and 120,000-strong population of Halton, near Widnes, Cheshire.

Mr Lansley told GP: ‘Competition in the provision of out of hours is really interesting. Who’s there making decisions about what is provided? GPs.’

Mr Lansley is keen for GPs to lead on commissioning and to think more laterally.

He is critical of PCTs that currently issue separate contracts for out of hours, accident and emergency, extended hours and ambulances.

Entrepreneurial GP spirit could be tapped, he said, by allowing GPs to tender for this work across these areas.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

  • Read the full interview with Mr Lansley in GP’s 5 September edition.

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