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Small co-ops face fight to survive

Smaller out-of-hours co-operatives could struggle to survive under the new contract, GPs have warned.

Dr Neil Smith, a director of Worth and Aire GP Emergency Centre in West Yorkshire, said the co-op could fold if many GPs opted out of out-of-hours. 'In our area there has been no provision apart from GPs. We have a co-op of 45 people, which makes our rota viable, but if a lot

of people opt out of that we basically become unviable,' Dr Smith, a GP in Keighley, said.

'The people that are left working end up doing far more sessions that we want them to. No one else will cover us as far as we know and we have no idea how it will work.

'Whoever does it will have a problem finding the manpower,' Dr Smith said.

The extra £100 million funding announced by the Government to help primary care organisations fund out-of-hours would make no difference, he added.

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