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 says 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.
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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