GPs must ensure out-of-hours are quality services, says government

GP commissioners will be required to ensure providers of out-of-hours service comply with set quality standards, the government has confirmed.

In its response to the health select committee’s report on out-of-hours care, the government outlines that GP commissioners will have to ensure that providers of out-of-hours services comply with National Quality Requirements (NQRs), which are set to be reviewed and strengthened.

The response also outlined that GPs commissioners will have to ensure that contracts with out-of-hours providers ‘detail rigorous standards in respect of the recruitment, induction and training that doctors should receive’.

It said: ‘Commissioners must be satisfied that these standards are delivered by any sub-contractor or agency which providers may use.’

Under the plans, the NHS Commissioning Board will provide template NHS contracts for local commissioners to adapt and use.  

GP commissioners will also be expected to focus on strengthening the integration of urgent care services to ensure gaps and overlaps are reduced, efficiencies are made and patient access is improved, the government said.

‘In the future the NHS Commissioning Board will be responsible for holding consortia to account for stewardship of NHS resources and for the outcomes they achieve as commissioners,’ it said.

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