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Gerada: Future GPs should take back OOH care

Future GPs should take back provision of out-of-hours care to ensure continuity of care for patients, said RCGP chair Professor Gerada.

Speaking at a roundtable debate organised by the BMJ, Professor Gerada said federations of practices should work at taking back out-of-hours in order to ensure continuity of care.

Professor Gerada told Pulse after the event she not want to see a return to the pre-2004 contract in which GPs personally covered out-of-hours care, but added that GPs should oversee practice teams including other professionals, in the same way that hospital teams comprise of a mix of specialties.

She said: ‘I’m not asking GPs to how it was - where you work all day then go out in your pyjamas then go to work the next day. But working as federations of practices we should work at taking back out of hours.

‘It’s not just GPs- it’s not just doctors who do out-of hours at hospitals, it should be done in teams led by GPs. In particular for patients, imperative that we ensure continuity of care.’

She qualified that this would not be possible unless more GPs were trained, as GP’s are already straining under heavy workloads.

She said: ‘We can’t do it unless we get more GPs. If we get more GPs we can take back out-of-hours care. There is no way at this present in time this can be achieved as GPs are straining under the amount of work.’

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Readers' comments (13)

  • Is this the official position of the college or Professor Gerada's personal opinion?

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  • Lol ! True colors !!
    The medical profession and its leaders plays political football !

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  • Who does the OOH at the moment? Although there may be a mass privatisation and contracts are awarded to some unknown entity, it is local GPs working in these OOH that are their backbone. We are already stretched with the current mountain of workload.

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  • How much OOH does Prof Gerada do???

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  • it isnt quite april fools day!

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  • When I worked for the GP co-op pre 2003 there was very little chance that I would see my own patients.
    So how does this ensure continuity?

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  • Once again the RCGP has shown that it is right in touch with grassroots GP opinion!

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  • This horse has bolted a long time ago. With the 24 / 7 hour culture firmly established and encouraged by the government, having any continuity will soon be a pipedream.

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  • there won`t be any future GP`s with comments like that

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  • I don't know of any other country in western Europe where GP's control out of hours care. Professor Gerada expose sound theory, and I am in agreement with the theory, but there will never be the workforce to make this feasible, Currently, only 25% of medical graduates aspire to be GP's, not enough to sustain the basic in hours service, let alone out of hours. Let us concentrate on how to make the in hours service sustainable, because it is seriously creaking 'at its knees' and I think I can hear a distant death rattle.

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