Introducing GP consultations over the phone rather face-to-face does not reduce pressure in busy surgeries.
That's according to new research by Exeter University. It's found patients who have a telephone call with a GP are 50 per cent more likely to have a follow up-appointment or will try and see a doctor out-of-hours.
A Cornish MP has said that the company in charge of providing out of hours GP services in the county should hand its contract back. Andrew George's comments come after it emerged that Serco was considering sub-contracting part of the work.
We have been working with our NHS customer, Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, to improve the integration of our service with other providers of unscheduled healthcare in the region.
The NHS is considering a number of options to achieve this, including the possibility of the clinical elements of Serco’s service being delivered by a suitable specialist subcontractor of the necessary quality, capability and experience.
At this stage no decision has been made.
If such an arrangement were to be put in place, Serco would continue to be responsible and accountable to Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group for provision of the service.
– Dr Louis Warren, Serco’s Director for the GP Out of Hours service in Cornwall
A Cornish MP has suggest plans by Serco to sub-contract some of its out of hours GP services will lead to a fragmented service. Andrew George says Serco should hand back its contract if it can't do the job.
Serco has admitted it is looking at a number of options, including sub contracting the Cornish service.The MP for St Ives Andrew George said if the company is struggling to deliver the service it should hand it over to someone else.
Doctors across the region are expected to strike today in a row with the government over increases to pension contributions and later retirement ages.
The action has been organised by the British Medical Association and will affect all non-urgent work like outpatient appointments, but doctors will still see patients who are ill. Most doctors will be taking industrial action for the first time, with the last dispute almost 40 years ago.