A letter dated 4 February 2010 (the day before the Gray verdict) has been sent to all PCT Chief Executives informing them that the report commissioned in October 2009 in response to the death of Mr Gray called General practice out of hours services has now been published.
The report found that there is an unacceptable variation in the implementation and monitoring of out-of-hours services and has outlined 24 recommendations to improve the commissioning and provision of out-of-hours services. The Minister of State for Health has accepted the recommendations relating to the NHS in full. PCTs are expected to review the report and implement the recommendations urgently to ensure that safe out of hours care is being delivered. The Minister has also announced further measures to improve commissioning and provision of out of hours services which include:
- reviewing the national quality requirements in place for out-of-hours services to develop a stronger set of minimum standards and a national model contract;
- supporting out-of-hours providers to become a valued and integral part of the local health community; and
- stronger performance management by SHAs.
The report can be accessed here.