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'Very poor' level of out-of-hours care revealed in patient survey

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kevinkelleher
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'Very poor' level of out-of-hours care revealed in patient survey
Posted on: March 20 2010, 02:26 pm



Wide variations in the quality of out-of-hours GP services are leaving many people with a "poor" level of care, a survey has found.

The National GP Patient Survey for England found that in more than one-fifth of the country's 152 primary care trusts, one in six patients rated out-of-hours care as either "poor" or "very poor".

In some areas more than one in five patients rated the care provided as "poor" or "very poor". Richmond and Twickenham and Hartlepool were among the worst rated trusts, with Central Lancashire and Plymouth among the best.

An analysis by the Patients Association of the survey results for the first two quarters of 2009-10 also found wide variations in the amount of money spent on out-of-hours services.

The association found that the average spend per patient across 90 primary care trusts, which commission out-of-hours care, was 9. But there was significant variation, with some trusts spending as little as 1.50 and others more than 20.

The director of the Patients Association, Katherine Murphy, said: "Once again there is huge variation, with more than double the number of patients rating the service as poor or very poor at the bottom of the table compared to the top. This is completely unacceptable. The postcode lottery of care has to stop.

"It is hard to understand how one PCT might be spending 16 times more on out-of-hours care than another."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/mar/13/poor-care-rating-patients-survey
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