LMCs condemn NHS24 as 'waste of resources'

Scottish LMCs said that NHS 24 is a 'huge waste of resources' but stopped short of calling for a return to a GP-managed delivery of out-of-hours care.

Dr Kathryn McLachlan, of Greater Glasgow and Clyde LMC, told the Clydebank conference last week that NHS 24 was risk averse and disliked by the ambulance service, A&E departments, GPs and many patients.

Dr McLachlan said it was also the main reason why out-of-hours care gets a bad press. 

‘Out of hours is blamed on us for turning our backs on our patients,' she said.

Dr McLachlan said there should be a negotiated return of out of hours with attached resources to locally based GP-managed delivery. 

‘We need a system that listens to those of us who see patients. Maybe we should go back to co-ops.  Maybe we should be doing this again,' she said.

But Daniel Franks of Tayside LMC said the suggestion made him nervous. 

‘If we take this over then they will cut the funding year on year, exactly as they're doing at the moment,' he said.

The motion was rejected, but GPs passed others that supported doctor-involvement NHS 24. 

They agreed with a motion that said that NHS 24 works best when co-located with out-of-hours services run by experienced doctors. 

Dr McLachlan said that NHS24 was too costly at £50m per year and £30 per call answered.

GPletters@haymarket.com

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