Out of hours GP contract must deliver for rural North Cornwall

Last week NHS Kernow announced they are asking for bids to run Cornwall's out of hours GP contract from the 31st May 2015, when the current contract with Serco ends. 

Local health chiefs were hoping to be able to use existing NHS services to provide the out of hours and weekend doctor service for 12 months whilst a longer-term solution was found, but it has now been decided that this plan would not be viable. 

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson has said that he wants the new contract to provide a good out of hours GP service for residents in rural communities, as well as avoiding some of the problems people had experienced over the past few years. 

Dan successfully campaigned to increase the number of weekend medical clinics in Bude, Stratton and surrounding parishes and to restore the out of hours GP car to the area after it was moved 22 miles away to Launceston. 

Commenting Dan said "Whilst it is disappointing that the alliance of existing local NHS services didn't feel able to deliver a viable weekend and out of hours GP service for Cornwall, we must use the opportunity of a new contract and a new provider to improve services for patients. 

"It is encouraging that NHS Kernow will be developing the requirements of the new contact with local clinicians and patients to make sure the new service works well alongside other NHS facilities. But people in North Cornwall will want reassurances that - whoever ends up running the new weekend and out of hours service - will provide improvements so that we don't see a repeat of residents living in rural areas and in the north east of Cornwall without easy access to a GP outside of practice hours."


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