Nigel Wylie, associate with Urgent Health Care Solutions, said there was a critical shortage of GPs willing to be available to work out-of-hours.
Out-of-hours leaders were asked what advice they would give CCGs who wanted to co-commission unscheduled care around a 24/7 service, by one of the country’s leading GPs.
The question was posed by NHS England deputy medical director Dr Mike Bewick to a panel at the RCGP’s annual conference in Liverpool on Thursday.
Dr Jonathan Leach, NHS England associate medical director, emphasised the importance of GPs with a local knowledge of how the health system worked.
Mr Wylie said out-of-hours was at a crossroads. Threats included NHS 111 and GP federations. Providers should ask themselves whether they wanted to ‘burrow deeper into individual CCGs’ or look at serving larger areas.
Dr Simon Abrams, chairman of Urgent Health UK, said a CQC report to be published tomorrow was expected to praise out-of-hours services generally.