The new contract allows GPs to opt out of 24 hour responsibility for patient care. While most GPS do plan to opt out of the responsibilityfor out of hours ( 630pm to 8am weekdays plus all weekends and bank holidays) , surveys suggest 70% of GPs will continue to work in the out of hours period. It is therefore important to monitor changes in the out of hours service and adapt current arrangements.
Care on call - a mutual approach ( press release below) Download pdf
Focus on OOH - BMA guidance note  
Annex 1- Innovative out-of-hours schemes  
Accreditation handbook pdf  
OOH review and Government response pdf files Out of hours quality

PRESS RELEASE 27 January 2004

Community Mutuals to deliver Out-of-Hours NHS services

The NAGPC supports the development of a new organisational model for OOH Care as set out in the MUTUO paper, “Care on Call: a mutual approach to out-of-hours primary care services. This recognises and builds upon the success of the GP Co-operative movement.

Dr Mark Reynolds MBE, Chairman of the NAGPC said,

“GP Co-operatives have been one of the most successful innovations in recent years providing a good quality out of hours service, responsive to patients’ needs. As not for profit organisations, they deliver locally responsive and integrated services which we believe are the best solutions for healthcare. The GPs, management, all Co-operative staff and other healthcare professionals, have a proven track record and I believe that their expertise must be retained. They are perfectly positioned to play a key part in the future of patient care.”

“When the other stakeholders, take their places on the boards of these new organisations, then this will begin to join up the services locally and make best use of all the resources available.”

“We look forward to creating thriving new coordinating organisations that will provide good, efficient, not for profit NHS focussed care”.

The NAGPC continues to work with the Department of Health and MUTUO to ensure that Co-operatives evolve and are able to play a key role in the delivery of OOH services.

National Association of GP Co-operatives
Represents and Supports GP Co-operatives and Promotes Quality Out of Hours Patient Care

Note to editors:
1. There are two types of GP on call systems in this country:
i. GP Co-operatives; not for profit organisations, run by and for GPs and mostly medically staffed by the clinicians in the locality. GPs take turns in working and they also manage the organisation with a management team and staff. They are highly organised computerised local (often large) rotas. Three quarters of GPs are in Co-operatives.
ii. Commercial sector companies; which employ GPs as deputies; the main commercial provider works with two large national call centres.
2. The NAGPC represents and supports GP Co-operatives, and promotes quality OOH patient care. It currently represents 200 Co-operatives and approximately 20000 GP members
3. “Opt out” means transfer of responsibility. It does not mean that GPs will not do any on call. Recent surveys reveal that up to 70% will work sessions in the OOH period.
4. More information: Logie Kelman, Manager NAGPC, Tel: 01132782381 email:
5. Available for interview: Dr Mark Reynolds, NAGPC Chairman, Tel 01132782381 email:


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