This site is intended for health professionals only

Survival Guide: Commissioning out-of-hours care (1 CPD hour)

Rick Stern explains how GPs can commission out-of-hours care

Learning objectives

This module discusses commissioning out-of-hours care, including:

  • Tackling inappropriate variation between areas and providers
  • Ensuring that practices manage urgent care as well as possible
  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Holding regular meetings to review performance against agreed standards
  • Considering the cost attached to tendering, and that improving a service requires investment

After reading this article you will be asked to record your learning points and some action points to earn a suggested 1 CPD credit. Below are some suggested questions to reflect on as you work through the module:

  1. Are you ensuring that your provider is not using GPs who were rejected elsewhere in the country?
  2. Can you make provisions for enough consultation to meet demand?
  3. Is your practice making use of information and resources available, such as recent national benchmark reports?
  4. Can you hold regular meetings with providers?
  5. Do you have a coherent local vision for urgent and emergency care?
  6. Could you let contracts for longer periods and demand that providers invest in software, training etc?

This module was first published on 16th February 2011 and was up to date with all key guidelines and evidence at that point. It will be reviewed as part of our routine update cycle by 16th February 2013 but will be updated sooner to reflect any key guideline changes.

Rick Stern is urgent care lead for the NHS Alliance and a director of the Primary Care Foundation.

Article only | Full CPD module