Out of hours GP contract should be reviewed – George

Posted on: 7th March 2013

Commenting on the National Audit Office report (published today – 7th March), local MP, Andrew George, has called on the new NHS Commissioners for Cornwall to review the out of hours GP contract provided by Serco.

Mr George, who is a member of the Commons Health Select Committee, has previously reported

concerns to the Primary Care Trust, Serco, Health Ministers and the Care Quality Commission.

The latter resulted in the publication of a critical report on the out of hours GP service in June last year.

Commenting on today’s report, Mr George said: “Local people need to have confidence in the service. It provides the urgent out of hours GP cover for more than two thirds of each 168 hour week as well as for Bank Holidays.

“Failure to adequately and safely staff the service has happened even since Serco was criticized back in June last year in a CQC report which was prompted by concerns I had raised previously.

“If, in spite of apparently redoubled efforts to comply, “Serco regularly had insufficient staff to fill all clinical shifts” (NAO report paragraph 5) I believe that the new Clinical Commissioning Group – NHS Kernow – should undertake a thorough review of the service and determine whether it can match reasonable expectations for safe staffing, transparency and candour to give confidence that it will uphold standards of patient safety. If it cannot then its contract should be annulled and the service retendered.”


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