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ITV's Doctor Who? investigates GP out of hours services.

Dr Who? will see you now. But then again, he or she might see you in an hour, or three, or six.

By Lilian Anekwe

Dr Who? will see you now. But then again, he or she might see you in an hour, or three, or six.

And when they do arrive they are unlikely to know you, your history, or have access to any of your case notes. Last night's episode of ‘Tonight' on ITV investigated the dire state of out-of-hours GP services in England.

A mere four months after Pulse's own investigation into out of hours found GPs and patients had little confidence in the quality of care available from out-of-hours providers, presenter Morland Sanders spoke to patients who suffered catastrophic delays and errors in diagnoses at the hands of OOH doctors because of cutbacks and chronic failings in the system.

The programme also met Dr Srinivas Dharmana, a GP in Liverpool who is embroiled in a legal battle over unfair dismissal from Liverpool PCT's OOH provider Urgent Care 24 (once again, Pulse beat ITV to the story).

Dr Dharmana told of potentially dangerous omissions in patient records that he feels have left him no option but to give all his patients his mobile phone number and instructions to call him in an OOH emergency – not UC24. Pulse wonders how many GPs would be similarly moved to take such extreme action?

There were also appearances by Dr Peter Fellowes, former GPC prescribing committee chair, and several uncomfortable moments for representatives from several PCTs whose OOH services were found wanting.

You can watch the programme online on the ITV Tonight website. Do let us know what you think.

Out of hours car Pulse team blog

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