Out-of-area GP registration should be scrapped, say LMCs

The 'disastrous' out-of-area GP registration scheme should be scrapped because it is fragmenting care for patients, GPs at the 2015 LMCs conference have said.

Dr Robert Morley: out-of-area registration scheme warning (Photo: JH Lancy)
Dr Robert Morley: out-of-area registration scheme warning (Photo: JH Lancy)

GPs at the conference also voted to condemn NHS England for its 'failure to provide a comprehensive home visiting service for patients registered as out-of-area patients'.

Dr Violaine Carpenter from Hertfordshire LMC said the scheme is ‘confusing and overcomplicated’.

"The government is promoting a service where patients are treated without medical records, where GPs cannot refer to community and mental health services, and continuity of care is lost,’ she told the conference. ‘It is detrimental to patient care.’

General practice ethos

Birmingham LMC executive secretary Dr Robert Morley agreed the scheme ‘isn’t working well’ and ‘conflicts with the ethos of general practice’.

GPs voted for the GPC to begin negotiations to bring the scheme to an end.

However, several GPs spoke against the motion, warning that out-of-area registration was a good option for ‘young, healthy, fit people’ who want to register with a GP near their workplace for consultations on preventive medicine.

Dr Antony O’Brien, from Devon LMC, said: ‘The alternative is these young people pushing for a seven-day, 8am to 8pm service.’

Dr Peter Williams, from Derby and Derbyshire LMC, said the scheme was working very well. ‘It provides good continuity during daytime hours, and patients are delighted with the service,’ he said.

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