The number of serious complaints made against GPs over out-of-hours care has soared, figures show.
The two leading family doctor insurance firms, which cover the majority of GPs in England, dealt with nearly 300 complaints in 2006. The Patients Association says this service needs more funding.
The government says that the experiences of most people are generally positive and the old out-of-hours system was unsustainable.
What are your experiences of the out-of-hours system? Do you think the current system is adequate? Are you a patient or someone who works in the system? What improvements would you suggest?
My grandmother receives a poor quality of care, thus "no", i believe the system to be inadequate.
Someone recently worked out that the government wanted to pay doctors £1.60ph to work nights, I can't fault them for opting out.
The one and only time I have needed it it was good. Not exactly fantastic but then I think I got alright service.
The only time I've used it, I was shocked by the service I received. (Search for threads that I've started, and read the one entitled "Bloody Iraqi Doctor" or something similar)
I fully blame that doctor though, not the OoH service. I've heard positive and negative things about it, but the majority of the negative opinions tend to be based on isolated incidents, so take that as you will.
This what you use out of usual surgery hours, yes? If so, I've used it and they were fab. My dad phoned NHS direct and asked for advice, they got in touch with my nearest out of hours doctor, who then phoned me back and made an appointment to see me within the hour. Better than I've ever had when trying to get an appointment with my doctor within usual hours!