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Recommendations to improve OOH care published

4th February 2010

The Department of Health has published a series of recommendations designed to improve GP Out of Hours care.


The report ‘General Practice Out of Hours Services’ found that while there are already “robust requirements in place to ensure the commissioning and delivery of safe, high quality out-of-hours services” there were unacceptable variations in the way they are implemented around the country.

The document follows review by Dr David Colin-Thome, National Clinical Director for Primary Care at the Department of Health and Professor Steve Field, Chairman of Council, Royal College of General Practitioners.

It outlines a number of recommendations to improve the commissioning and provision of out of hours care.

The document recommends: PCTs should review the performance management arrangements in place for their out-of-hours services and ensure they are robust and fit for purpose; the DH should issue guidance to PCTs to assist them in making decisions about whether or not a doctor has the necessary knowledge of English and should develop and introduce an improvement programme for PCTs to support their commissioning and performance management of out-of-hours services.

Further recommendations say providers should consider the recruitment and selection processes in place for clinical staff to ensure they are robust and that they are following best practice; and that Strategic Health Authorities should consider how they monitor action taken by PCTs in response to this report.

The DH has accepted all the recommendations, including one which highlights the needs to share concerns over staff working excessive hours for their respective services.


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Article Information

Title: Recommendations to improve OOH care published
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 13976
Date Added: 4th Feb 2010


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