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Huge rise in OOH care demand from cancer patients

The demand for out-of-hours care by cancer patients rose by more than a quarter following the introduction of the GMS contract in 2004, and had a severely negative impact on triage time and communication between out-of-hours GPs.

A study, in May's British Journal of General Practice, found that although the number of hospital admissions and home visits remained unchanged after 1 April 2004, ‘ detrimental changes in triage time and communication between out-of-hours and in-hours clinicians were observed'.

The researchers from the Peninsular Medical School in Exeter said the increase in demand was down to changes in working hours and the loss of Saturday morning clinics.

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