Out of hours GP service must be integrated with “in hours” GPs and other emergency services – George
Commenting on the decision of Health Chiefs to invite bids from private companies and others to run the out of hours GP service, currently run by Serco, West Cornwall MP and Health Select Committee Member, Andrew George, has urged commissioners to make every effort to opt for a service which better integrates with “in hours” GP services and all other hospital emergency services.
Mr George said: “Naturally I am disappointed that NHS Kernow has not found it possible to proceed with their proposed “alliance” of existing NHS providers to replace Serco. However, they should not give up on the prospect of seeking a service provider who would help integrate out of hours GP services with our day time GP surgeries, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, the Ambulance Service, NHS 111 and other providers.
“The worst of all worlds would be to replace Serco with another private company which simply seeks to work to contract rather than making patient interests pre-eminent. We need a service which puts patients before profit.
“I hope Health Chiefs will consult widely, including with the nursing and residential home sector which have a particular interest in ensuring that the out of hours GP service functions well and responds efficiently.”