GPs' deal means reduction in home visits at night
Friday 20 May 1994
The deal will make it easier for GPs to set up primary-care emergency centres to which patients will be asked to travel at night and at weekends, instead of the doctor simply offering advice over the telephone or visiting.
In return, family doctors will retain their 24-hour responsibility for patients - something that, two years ago, almost three-quarters of them said they wanted to drop.
The new package 'clarifies' doctors' terms and conditions of service, making it plain that they and not the patient will decide whether, where and when a patient receives an out-of-hours consultation. But home visits will remain.
Dr Mawhinney said: 'Where there is doubt, I fully expect GPs to err on the side of caution and make a visit.' Patients will still be able to take doctors to service committee hearings if they are denied a visit which they believe they should have received.
The move follows a trebling in demands on GPs for night visits to almost two million over the past three years - and the development of GP co-operatives in which fewer doctors are on duty at night. Some already work from night surgeries to which patients are asked to drive or get a taxi.
Dr Mawhinney said he still expected GPs to take account of patients' 'social setting' - access to a car, or whether they have others they cannot leave in the house - in deciding whether they should travel. But he argued that both GPs and patients would gain from the deal. 'It is not in the patients' interest that they should be served by GPs who are permanently tired and exhausted,' he said.
Where primary-care centres are created - some eight exist already - patients will in general have to travel further than to their local surgery. But Dr Mawhinney argued that the centres offered 'a new option for patients'.
Dr Ian Bogle, chairman of the British Medical Association's family doctors' committee, said: 'There will still be a role for home visits, but I am convinced the new arrangements will reduce this need. For the good of the patients and doctors, we must return to a situation where out-of-hours calls are for emergencies only.'
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...