Out-of-hours providers to face public ratings report

Out-of-hours providers will be compared publicly this year, according to a group of primary care experts which advises the DoH and other organisations.

The Primary Care Foundation has completed two exercises on the quality of PCTs and their out-of-hours providers. It has decided to make the next round of data publicly available and ask patients to rate their care.

A DoH/RCGP report into out-of-hours care is due shortly, once an inquest into the death of patients treated by German doctor Daniel Ubani ends.

Henry Clay, a partner at the Primary Care Foundation, said research had found that overall, out-of-hours care was done by local GPs and was of good quality. 'There are some governance issues. But much of this is done by the GPs that we see and trust every day.'

The Primary Care Foundation's latest report, Improving Out-of-Hours Care, said the way urgent calls are dealt with is a priority for improvement.

The Tories reiterated plans to hand commissioning of out-of-hours to GPs. A GP poll last year found just 38 per cent of the profession wished to take back out-of-hours responsibility.


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