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BMA Scotland never had plans for GP-led OOH

You report that BMA Scotland has withdrawn a proposal to take back commissioning responsibility for out-of-hours care (‘Scottish GPs refuse to take back OOH responsibility‘). This is not the case.

Under the heading ‘Options for the Future’, our original ‘General Practice in Scotland: The Way Ahead’ consultation document set out a number of options for future out-of-hours care in Scotland. Consultation by its very definition seeks to obtain views and stimulate debate on a range of options. Our document could not have been considered a consultation if it presented predetermined conclusions.

Our final report makes recommendations based on the range of responses received, which clearly demonstrates our intention was to seek views and report on the consensus. As a result, we have called on NHS 24 to focus on improving delivery of telephone triage, for much greater integration with local NHS boards and for greater involvement of GPs and other health professionals in the development and implementation of out-of-hours services.

It is disappointing your publication failed to grasp the difference between proposals and options aimed at stimulating debate.

From Dr Dean Marshall, chair, BMA Scottish GPC

Editor’s note: Pulse made clear in the story that the original proposals had been in draft form, and that they had been modified following consultation responses. We feel it was justified to report that BMA Scotland had ‘withdrawn proposals’ for GPs to take a greater role in commissioning and delivery of out-of-hours care.