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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GMC expects more flak on revalidation

German GPs flown in

German doctors could be flown in to cover out-of-hours shifts in up to 10 PCTs.

Trusts in Norfolk and west Hampshire have already used the GPs to fill gaps in night and weekend rotas.

Locum agencies bringing the doctors to the UK said they were in talks with a number of other trusts to use German GPs.

Medical Transfers Services Ltd, based in Cambridge, said it had a contract in Norfolk to provide out-of-hours GPs and was in talks with 'six or seven' other trusts. Assistant managing director Caren Froehling-Brockington said the company hoped to recruit up to eight GPs to each area.

Medworld UK, based in London and Essex, said it was helping three PCTs – Castlepoint and Rochford, Basildon and a Norfolk trust – to recruit German doctors for out-of-hours and locum sessions.

Dr Peter Harvey, Norfolk LMC secretary, said the German GPs were good doctors and were needed to cover the shortage of GPs in the area.

Concerns over Primecare

The Health Service Ombudsman has reported concerns over commercial deputising service Primecare's quality of care, communication with patients and record-keeping.

In her latest report, the Ombudsman Ann Abraham said: 'In the last six months I have seen a number of serious cases involving GP deputising services.

'The quality of care, communication with patients and record keeping in these cases is a real cause for concern.'

Primecare said it had made changes to services and procedures since the Ombudsman's investigations.

Dispute over opt-out date

A row has broken out between GPs in adjoining PCTs after one trust allowed its doctors to opt out four months before the other.

The dispute has arisen because the trusts share an out-of-hours co-op, North Yorkshire Emergency Doctors (NYED).

GPs in Selby and York PCT, who are not able to opt out until October, have complained they have been asked to provide cover in Yorkshire Wolds and Coast PCT which allowed its GPs to opt out in June.

Dr John Givans, medical secretary of North Yorkshire LMC, said 'feathers have been ruffled' over the issue.

'There is a shortage of sessions at the moment from the Wolds area. What NYED have been seeking is co-operation from others in the co-op, but there are arguments from some people saying they don't want to work over the border.'

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