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At the heart of general practice since 1960

'Act on out-of-hours opt-out or we're off'

GPs are issuing trusts with an ultimatum to implement the out-of-hours opt-out this year or they will quit general practice, Pulse has learned.

The demands have been prompted by the contract delay and fears that trusts could prevent GPs ditching their 24-hour responsibility for up to three years because they would not be able to cope.

Co-ops warned last year that GPs would not be able to give up out-of-hours work until as late as 2006, a claim firmly refuted by the GPC.

Dr Ken Megson, secretary of Gateshead and South Tyneside LMC, said six GPs in his area had threatened to retire or take part-time or locum posts if they could not give up out-of-hours 'very soon'.

He added: 'If out-of-hours is sorted, people will stay but some people have had enough of it.'

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