Practice-based commissioning groups may commission out of hours

The NHS Alliance has played down reports that it is in talks with the government about making GPs take back out-of-hours responsibility.

Opening the NHS Alliance Urgent Care conference in London yesterday, NHS Alliance advisor Rick Stern told delegates: ‘That's not what we're saying.'

NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon said reports that GPs would be paid to take back out-of-hours work were inaccurate and misleading.

‘Talks are progressing with the DoH about allowing practice-based commissioning (PBC) groups to commission out-of-hours services for an area,' said Dr Dixon.

But PBC would have to be sufficiently developed first and GPs would not make any more money from it, he said.

Chris Dowse, head of urgent care at the DoH, told delegates that PBC would be ‘relaunched and ‘reinvigorated' by the government soon but would not comment on the out-of-hours situation.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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