HC Deb 26 February 2004 vol 418 cc572-3W
Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many complaints have been received about(a) general practitioner co-operatives undertaking out of hours service provision and (b) private companies providing out of hours primary care on behalf of the NHS; and if he will make a statement. [154438]

Mr. Hutton

Information on the number of complaints made against either general practitioner co-operatives or private companies providing out of hours care, is not held centrally. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for ensuring that out of hours services provided meet nationally set quality standards, which include compliance with the national health service complaints procedure.

Under the new general medical services (GMS) contract, everyone who provides services out of hours, including individuals contracted by the PCT, as well as organisations, will need to meet the national quality standards. These standards are currently under review by an expert group to make them an integral part of GMS and personal medical services (PMS) contracting. Strategic health authorities have responsibility for performance managing PCTs in their delivery of out of hours services.