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Triage delays sway choice of provider

Primecare is set to lose out on two major out-of-hours contracts after GPs raised concerns over its triage service.

Southampton City PCT is planning to use walk-in centres staffed by nurses and GPs backed up by a local triage service to replace its contract with Primecare for 140 GPs.

Dr David Paynton, professional executive committee chair at the trust, said staff at Primecare's Birmingham call centre lacked local knowledge.

'It means triage is being delayed,' he said. 'The people in Birmingham can't remember the numbers of the district nurses here. There are also quite a lot of hand-backs to GPs on Monday mornings.'

Primecare medical director Dr Mike Sadler said it was in talks with the trust. 'There is always room for improvement. We are confident we will have as much or a bigger share of the market,' he added.

A group of 54 GPs in Cherwell Vale PCT in Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire is to set up a local rota because of delays in Primecare triage.

Dr John Harrison, a GP in Brackley, Northamptonshire, said 15 GPs would cover shifts and other GPs not willing to work would act as guarantors for the service.

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