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Your voice on health and social care

Response to criticism of out-of-hours service


Healthwatch Oxfordshire has responded to criticism by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of the out-of-hours doctors service run by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

When the service was inspected by the CQC in November, it found that in the previous six months, it had only achieved 82 per cent of face to face consultations within two hours of assessment for urgent patients, against a national target of 95 per cent. While the trust was told it did provide a good quality of care to patients, a shortage of doctors meant targets were missed while full checks were not in place to ensure every GP could work safely with children with proof of disclose and barring service (DBS) checks not always available - although there was no suggestion any youngsters were at risk.

Rosalind Pearce, Executive Director, Healthwatch Oxfordshire, said: "

“It is potentially putting patients and children at risk and that is not good enough.

“It concerns us that one of our main hospital trusts gets a requires improvement rating. I think the point raised around DBS checks for self-employed GPs is of great concern.

“There is no way anybody should be working, if they are directly employed or self-employed, if they cannot demonstrate that they completed their DBS check.”

“With regards to the recruitment of medical staff, it is a county-wide and national issue.

“And although the report does inform us that they are putting things in place to boost recruitment, they are not achieving the national standards they had been two years ago.”