228692 - General Practitioners: Working Hours (Answered)

Andrew Gwynne
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his contribution of 13 May 2013, Official Report, column 351, on health and social care, in what year he plans to end the ability of GPs to opt out of providing out-of-hours care.

George Freeman

Since the introduction of the revised GP contract in 2004, general practitioners (GPs) have been able to opt out of responsibility for providing out-of-hours care.

GP practices who provide out-of-hours services must meet the quality requirements set out in “National Quality Standards in the Delivery of out-of-hours services.” In order to bring back greater GP responsibility for their patients, from April 2014, under the terms of their contracts, where GPs do not provide out-of-hours services the practice must monitor the quality of out-of-hours services which are offered or provided to their patients having regard to the above guidance, act upon any concerns arising and report any concerns that they may have about the quality of these services.