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GP out-of-hours services struggle to fill shifts amid “intense” winter pressure

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k97 (Published 08 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k97
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Providers of out-of-hours GP services are struggling to fill gaps in their rotas in the face of “intense” pressure this winter, despite a £10m (€11.2m; $13.6m) cash injection to help cover indemnity fees that was intended to ensure full coverage.1

Simon Abrams, chair of Urgent Health UK, a federation of social enterprises that provide out-of-hours GP services, told The BMJ, “My colleagues generally have found it more difficult this year to recruit doctors to shifts. Pressure on health services has been intense this winter, especially over the bank holidays.”

Abrams believed that previous extra funding from government for winter pressure, such as the £335m announced in November,2 had been too focused on hospitals. “In the wider strategy, there hasn’t been that recognition of …

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