Watchdog

Watchdog claims out-of-hours GP care ‘diabolical’

15TH APRIL 2014

The care provided by GPs outside of normal hours in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan is ‘diabolical’ according to a patient watchdog.

Old HandsThe comments are based on the waiting times of patients to be assessed over the phone and seen by medical staff. It also said that this has resulted in an increased burden on the local A&E.

The Cardiff and Vale board serves a population of 472,000 and receives around 9,000 to 11,000 calls to the out-of-hours service each month. Its targets are to answer all cases with 30 minutes and all routine calls within two hours.

The community health council’s chief officer Stephen Allen said that these basics were not even happening.

Sue Morgan, a senior manager for Cardiff and Vale’s care board, said a full service review and improvements were under way. She explained the ‘significant increase in demand’ for GP out-of-hours service over the last 18 months, with a 31% year-on-year increase over the winter. She also highlighted that service did meet its target of identifying all immediate life-threatening conditions within five minutes every month since May 2013.

Increased funding

Lord Crisp, who is heading up the new inquiry into mental health services, says the solution may not be to increase funding and beds.

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Lord Crisp gave an exclusive interview to the HSJ and says he believes solutions to capacity pressures would vary and involve a range of factors.

He said it is too easy to blame lack of funding for the problems.

The inquiry, which is not looking at children’s services or specialist services such as eating disorders, has made a call for evidence, which will close on 18 March.