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GPs facing ‘David versus Goliath’ battle to provide out of hours care

15 April 2015

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GPs who want to run out-of-hours services in their local areas should be awarded contracts without facing a ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle with large private companies, according to a new report by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

The RCGP said that many GPs are keen to have more involvement in the provision of out of hours services but they are being held back by the tendering process that makes it difficult for small providers to compete with larger organisations on cost.

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It claims that local practices risk being ‘priced out’ of the market and factors such as continuity of care should be taken into account as well as the cost of running services.

The college says that the regulations for awarding contracts should be clarified, and legislative changes made, if necessary, to enable practices or groups of practices to take back their out of hours service without having to go through a competitive tender.

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