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Lansley to investigate Harmoni out-of-hours contract award



By Gareth Iacobucci

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has vowed to investigate claims that NHS managers transferred out-of-hours care in their area to a private firm without consulting local GPs.

Pulse reported last week that almost 200 GPs in North London had delivered a petition to Mr Lansley protesting at NHS bosses’ decision to replace existing provider CAMIDOC, a non-profit making company run by GPs, with private firm Harmoni.

The move by NHS managers in Camden, Islington, City and Hackney and Haringey came despite Mr Lansley instructing PCTs to consult GPs on all commissioning decisions they take from now on under the Government’s plans for a radical shift in power in the NHS.

And when asked in the Commons this week by Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy whether he would intervene, Mr Lansley pledged to investigate the row.

He said: ‘The right hon. Gentleman will be perfectly well aware of my view: we want to involve general practitioners much more in commissioning out-of-hours services.’

‘I will undertake to look at what is proposed by the primary care trusts in north London and see whether it is consistent with the development that we are looking for in the White Paper.’

Andrew Lansley has pledged to investigate after a row over an out-of-hours contract in north London Andrew Lansley has pledged to investigate after a row over an out-of-hours contract in north London