The Department of Health, in liaison with the Royal College of General Practitioners, has conducted an offi cial review of out of hours services. Its key proposals are as follows:  

  • a review of National Quality Requirements to develop stronger national minimum standards  
  • all applications logged on a national database  
  • all trusts must review monitoring and performance of out of hours cover  
  • guidance to be issued on minimum standards for acceptance of doctor, including level of English language  
  • new national “model contract” produced as a best practice guide for trusts commissioning services
  • greater involvement of GPs in advising and shaping services best suited to the local community  

Mike O’Brien, Minister of State (Health Services), Department of Health, has said that legal requirements for trusts to provide quality care will now be enforced with tough regulations.