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Gerada: Future GPs should take back OOH care

Future GPs should take back provision of out-of-hours care to ensure continuity of care for patients, said RCGP chair Professor Gerada.

Speaking at a roundtable debate organised by the BMJ, Professor Gerada said federations of practices should work at taking back out-of-hours in order to ensure continuity of care.

Professor Gerada told Pulse after the event she not want to see a return to the pre-2004 contract in which GPs personally covered out-of-hours care, but added that GPs should oversee practice teams including other professionals, in the same way that hospital teams comprise of a mix of specialties.

She said: ‘I’m not asking GPs to how it was - where you work all day then go out in your pyjamas then go to work the next day. But working as federations of practices we should work at taking back out of hours.

‘It’s not just GPs- it’s not just doctors who do out-of hours at hospitals, it should be done in teams led by GPs. In particular for patients, imperative that we ensure continuity of care.’

She qualified that this would not be possible unless more GPs were trained, as GP’s are already straining under heavy workloads.

She said: ‘We can’t do it unless we get more GPs. If we get more GPs we can take back out-of-hours care. There is no way at this present in time this can be achieved as GPs are straining under the amount of work.’

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