GPC update: Fears primary care budgets could be raided to fund NHS 111

GP leaders fear out-of-hours primary care budgets could be raided to pay for NHS 111 once pilots for the service are completed.

Dr Buckman: ‘We have one main concern: how will [NHS 111 services] be paid for when the pilots end?'

Speaking after the monthly GPC meeting in London last week, GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman warned that the quality of the services developed in pilot areas was widely variable.

‘We have some concerns about how some of the pilots are operating in some areas,’ he said. ‘It is a mosaic, alright in some areas, and in some areas it isn’t.’

Dr Buckman said that even in some neighbouring pilot areas which appeared to be operating the same NHS 111 model, GP satisfaction with the scheme was highly variable.

But he added: ‘We have one main concern: how will [NHS 111 services] be paid for when the pilots end?

‘They appear to cost more than existing provision, especially when that is NHS Direct. The concern is that it will come from the out-of-hours service, they will take money to provide NHS 111.’

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