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‘Golden era’ of out-of-hours provision is just a myth

I cannot let accusations that PCTs have brought about a dramatic decline in out-of-hours care go unchallenged (News, 31 October).

The belief that before the new GP contract there was a golden era where surgeries provided out-of-hours care to patients is a myth. Since 2004 trusts have been responsible for ensuring their local population has access to out-of-hours services. Before that most GPs contracted out their out-of-hours services to private companies and co-operatives, run by GPs. Many of the organisations that continue to deliver out-of-hours services today are the same ones that GPs set up previously.

We need to have an honest debate about what has really changed rather than half truths about events of the past.

From Gill Morgan, chief executive, NHS Confederation

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