Extension to public consultation on the future development of GP Out-of-Hours Services

The Health and Social Care Board has listened to elected representatives and members of the public who have requested that the public consultation on the future provision of GP Out-of-Hours services across Northern Ireland is extended to provide more time for the input of comments and views.

Dr Margaret O’Brien, Head of General Medical Services at the Health and Social Care Board, said: “Due to the interest shown by members of the public and elected representatives in the GP Out-of-Hours Strategic Framework, it has been agreed to extend the consultation period until 19th October 2012.

“GP Out-of-Hours Services provide urgent advice, care and treatment at times when GP surgeries are closed. Significant improvements have already been implemented in relation to processes, commissioning and quality standards for service delivery. The Strategic Framework complements and enhances this work and provides further opportunities to improve services. It is important therefore that anyone with an interest in GP Out-of-Hours service provision has this added opportunity to have their say.”

The public consultation, which was launched on 25 June 2012 and had an original closing date of 28 September 2012, will now close on 19 October 2012 at 5.00 pm. The GP Out-of-Hours Strategic Framework and related information can be accessed in the Consultations section of the www.hscboard.hscni.net website. Alternatively the documentation can be requested by email at ooh.consultation@hscni.net, by telephone on 028 9055 3721 or textphone on 18001 028 9055 3721.