Doctors' Services (Northumberland)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd March 2005.

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Photo of Peter Atkinson Peter Atkinson Whip, Whips 11:30 am, 22nd March 2005

It is all very well for the Minister to push this matter back on to the local primary care trust, but one of the problems is the new general practitioners' contract, under which many GPs in Northumberland do not work on Saturdays. The consequence is that the Northern Doctors Urgent Care service gets nearly 1,000 calls on a Saturday, which is overwhelming the service. Doctors are travelling 70 or 80 miles to answer calls in rural Northumberland because of the pressure on the business. Surely the Minister should revisit the GP contract.