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 Miss Melanie Johnson Miss Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health 11:30 am, 22nd March 2005

Eighty per cent. of GPs supported the new contract. The hon. Gentleman will also be aware that there were already arrangements in place under which large numbers of GPs delegated their responsibilities to co-op arrangements, so very little has changed in that regard—it is just that responsibility can now be passed back to the primary care trust. That has huge advantages for addressing service fragmentation and getting a better service. Indeed, in areas such as Cheshire, a much better service is now being provided. I trust that areas in which there are issues will look at the areas in which there is good practice, so as to develop the same best practice and to provide patients with the best possible out-of-hours service in all areas.