GPs won't be 'default providers' of out-of-hours

GPs will not become the 'default providers' of out-of-hours services when the profession takes on commissioning responsibility, the GPC has assured.

Dr Holden: 'No to commissioning' if funding is inadequate
Dr Holden: 'No to commissioning' if funding is inadequate

During questions at the LMCs conference in London on Thursday, GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said the GPs will not accept commissioning responsibility if it is clear funding will be inadequate or GPs will be expected to provide out-of-hours as the 'last resort' if other arrangements fall through.

'The bottom line is yes; we will commission with decent funding and no, will not go back to being the default provider.'

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said there would be ‘no wholesale renegotiation' of the contract despite health secretary Andrew Lansley having said he would.

'There are ways to take over commissioning responsibility that do not require renegotiation of the contract. I don't believe they [the DoH] mean it,' said Dr Buckman.

Dr Harold Van Der Linden, of North Staffordshire LMC, asked the negotiators what incentives they would ask for to ensure GPs are keen to commission, given the failure of practice-based commissioning. 

Dr Chaand Nagpaul said it was too early to say but incentives would be ‘built in' during negotiations.

The GPC will ensure commissioning budgets are kept separate from practice income to ensure ‘GPs neither profit or suffer losses,' said Dr Nagpaul.

Click here for all the latest news from the LMCs Conference 2010

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