GP out of hours care ‘getting better’

  • Posted

Posted 07/10/2014

Julie Crossley 1397333021_JulieCrossleyCPX.jpg

GP out-of-hours care in England is improving, but weaknesses still exist in certain areas, inspectors say.

The Care Quality Commission review of 30 services – covering a third of the population – highlighted problems with recruitment processes and medicines management. However, it concluded services on the whole were safe and well-led. It comes after years of criticisms following the overhaul of the system a decade ago.

In 2004, GPs were allowed to opt out of providing care, leaving it to NHS and private providers to run night and weekend care. In 2010, there was a highly critical government review following the death two years previously of David Gray. The 70-year-old Cambridgeshire resident was given an overdose of painkiller by a German locum doctor working his first NHS shift.

This CQC said there had been significant improvements since then. In particular, the review noted there were fewer locum GPs covering shifts and services were active in encouraging feedback from patients. But it found a fifth of services were not fully compliant on recruitment as they were not carrying out the required checks on staff applying for jobs. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter were warned over the way they stored and checked stocks of medicine.

Julie Crossley, a medical injury lawyer at Ashtons Legal, says: “This is a positive step forward and should offer patients some reassurance about future treatment, but getting an appointment with your GP or calling them out remains a huge issue. It is often the lack of continuity where the system fails and issues get missed or lost and that is why systems need to change.”


    How can we help you?

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible or to speak to one of our experts call
    0330 404 0749

    I accept that my data will be held for the purpose of my enquiry in accordance with Ashtons
    Privacy Policy

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    How can we help?

    If you have an enquiry or you would like to find out more about our services, why not contact us?