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Independents' Day

Profession should support the successors to GP co-ops

From Dr Mark Reynolds MBE, Maidstone, Kent, chief executive and medical director, On Call Care

Although I understand Dr Krishna Korlipara's longing for the halcyon days of a past era (Letters, 22 March), I must point out that his assertion regarding 'the recent sharp deterioration of out-of-hours services' is playing into the hands of the misguided

witch-hunting national media and indeed some politicians and commissioners who distrust the successors to

out-of-hours co-operatives.

There is no evidence of any global recent deterioration;

on the contrary services have generally improved. I agree that during the first difficult year after the opt-out, some PCT-based organisations got it badly wrong, but in the

main these have now been transformed.

There are many thriving membership-based organisations largely staffed

by local doctors and nurses delivering good-quality care across much of the country. Many PCT-based organisations also deliver good care in a fashion that suits the local patient and GP populations.

Yes, there are a few areas that provide a service that must be improved, and that give all out-of-hours organisations a bad name.

It was ever thus. It is time

for the profession to support the vast majority of providers and the GPs who work in them in this rather beleaguered part of primary care.

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