At today’s Health Scrutiny committee we had further talks with NHS Suffolk who are still in discussion with Harmoni healthcare over the new contract for out of hours GP and dentistry services in the County. The new contract will start on April 1st. Harmoni will replace the current contractor Take Care Now who have hit the headlines in recent months on a range of issues from doctors failing to attend very ill patients to the death of a patient in Cambridgeshire who was given 10 times the normal dose of diamorphine by a German locum.We also discussed whether people could expect doctors to attend any of the nine designated centres like Wickham Market instead of travelling all the way to the Riverside Centre in Ipswich. People have a right to know what level of service they can expect. They also need to know how they can complain if the service falls short of expected standards.This is an ongoing issue as the committee still has not received answers to all the questions. The matter will come back to the next Health Scrutiny meeting on March 23rd when we will also be discussing progress with Hartismere hospital and Sudbury Health Centre.
Here’s a link to a recent article on out of hours care by Libby Purves in The Times : http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/libby_purves/article6991696.ece