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Stop denying OOH crisis, BMA warned

The former chief executive of the NHS has accused the BMA of ‘pretending' that major problems with out of hours cares do not exist .

Delivering a keynote speech at the RCGP conference, Sir Alan Langlands, now principal and vice chancellor at the University Of Dundee, said OOH was failing to deliver as it should, and accused the BMA of failing to recognise widespread patient dissatisfaction with the service.

'It's not working and the public don't like it,' he said.

'The BMA may pretend that concerns are minimal, but I think something has to be done.'

'With OOH services, rarely have we seen the CBI, the Audit office, and the government align so closely. We need to try and work with what the Government want, and more importantly, make it work for patients,' he added.

Sir Alan said GPs had a 'responsibility' and a 'tremendous opportunity' to talk to patients about service changes, but admitted there was 'a spread responsibility' between clinicians and the Government.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chair of the GPC, told Pulse it was not true to suggest the BMA was in denial over OOH.

He said: ‘The BMA is very concerned that some out of hours service are failing to meet patients' expectations and has publicly stated that many services leave a lot to be desired. We have never "pretended" otherwise.'

He added: ‘GPs are not responsible for these services any more but are concerned that the well-run organisations they left behind are not working like they used to.

‘The very best out of hours services operate in areas where PCTs are fully engaged with GPs and services are properly resourced. Sadly in some areas GPs are frozen out of the decision making process by their PCTs leaving patients with poor services.'

OOH

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