Having out-of-hours doctor misery? Now your GP has to monitor 'effectiveness'

And all NHS patients over the age of 75 must be assigned a named and accountable GP, under new contract

All NHS patients over the age of 75 must be assigned a named, accountable GP who will oversee their care across the health system, under the terms of a new contract between GPs and the Government announced today.

The contract, which focuses on keeping more patients out of hospital will see a “return to the old-fashioned values of family doctors”, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

The renegotiated terms will also mean GPs have a responsibility to “monitor” the effectiveness of out-of-hours services used by all their patients.

“I think this is what GPs really want,” Mr Hunt told BBC Breakfast. “They became GPs because they want to deliver personal care that really looks after their patients. They didn't want to do all this box-ticking and bureaucracy and target-chasing.”

Plans to make GPs earnings public have also been announced today, with a working group set to look at how the information can best be released from 2015.

Mr Hunt told The Times: “The public will know what salaries GPs are taking home for NHS work. This will give the Government more confidence to hand more funds to GPs in future.”

GPs had previously been accused of adding pressure to A&E wards by being handed the option of giving up responsibility for out-of-hours care by sacrificing £6,000 a year in salary in their 2004 contract.

Mr Hunt said the new measures were the “first step in reversing” these “disastrous changes”.

“We can't do it all at once, it's a big, big change, but I think we need to start with these groups of people who are the most vulnerable,” he added.

There will be an “enhanced service” for patients with complex health needs aimed at avoiding unnecessarily admittance to hospital or A&E. Emergency care departments will have easier telephone access to GPs to decide whether or not a patient needs to be kept in.

New IT systems will be designed to improve the ability of patients to book appointments online and to access their summary medical record. Controversial proposals to digitise patient’s complete records have not been announced however.

Changes will see GPs freed from a number of “unnecessary targets and excessive paperwork”, according to the British Medical Association (BMA), which negotiated the changes with the Government.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA's GP committee, said the updated agreement would lead to benefits for patients.

“This will free up GPs to spend more time focusing on treating patients; mean that valuable resources will be reinvested in general practice to improve frontline care; and will encourage GPs to provide more personalised care for vulnerable patients at risk of hospital admission,” he said.

Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “This is welcome news for patients and for GPs as it will help us to get back to our real job of providing care where it is most needed, rather than more box-ticking.”

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: “No amount of spin can hide the fact that David Cameron has made it harder to get a GP appointment. There is nothing in this new contract to correct that.”

“David Cameron cut Labour's scheme of evening and weekend opening and the guarantee of seeing a doctor within 48 hours. This announcement will not put an end to patients phoning the surgery at 9am and finding it impossible to get an appointment - many of whom, not happy with a phone consultation, will still turn to A&E.”

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: SEO Account Manager

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SEO Account Manager is requi...

    Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

    £35-45K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer / Web ...

    Recruitment Genius: Commercial Manager - Plasma Processing

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Commercial Manager is required to join a lea...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders