NHS England is criticised for failing to robustly oversee out of hours care

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 14 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4591
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

A senior MP has warned of a “serious governance failure” in the monitoring of GP out of hours services, after an official audit found that NHS England was failing to adequately monitor the variation in quality and value for money being achieved across the country.

Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, said that the report by the National Audit Office1 had revealed deficiencies in the current system that needed to be tackled urgently.

The report noted that, while some commissioners were achieving value for money with their spending on out of hours GP services, this was “not the case across the board.” It also criticised NHS England for taking a year to issue guidance to its 27 area teams about how to seek assurance on out of hours services, and it questioned whether the current monitoring arrangements were fit for purpose, as clinical commissioning groups …

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