Lansley says GP out-of-hours responsibility will 'enhance' role

Making GPs responsible for commissioning out-of-hours care will result in many GPs deciding to play an 'enhanced role' in providing the service, health secretary Andrew Lansley has said.

Mr Lansley: GPs best placed to ensure patients get the correct care
Mr Lansley: GPs best placed to ensure patients get the correct care

GPC chairman Laurence Buckman agreed this was a possibility, and outlined that GPs could ‘go back to the role they had before’ by running co-operatives.

Mr Lansley made the comment in response to the GMC’s decision to erase German locum Dr Daniel Ubani from the UK medical register, which resulted from a ‘failing of the out-of-hours system’, he said.

He said the system need ‘urgent reform’, and outlined that GPs are best placed to ensure patients get the best care they need.

Mr Lansley said: ‘If GPs are responsible for commissioning out-of-hours care, I believe many will also decide to play an enhanced role in providing these services themselves,’ he said. 

‘Empowering GPs in this way will achieve better services for patients and more control of local services for GPs.’

Dr Buckman agreed that some GPs may choose to take back responsibility for out-of-hours care, but added there was ‘no question’ of GPs being made to do so.

He said: ‘I think we will go back to the role we had before, which is running a co-op.

‘I think that will include how it works, who works for it, how experienced they are, do they understand the way local health services work, are language skills up to date. These are things that GPs have been kept right out of.’

He added: ‘I agree with [Mr Lansley] that if GPs are in control of that then the services will improve.’

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