A REVIEW of out-of-hours GP services in Bromsgrove is being undertaken by health bosses four months after new arrangements were put into place.

Neil Bucktin, director of primary care at the Redditch and Bromsgrove Primary Care Trust, said a study was underway to determine how well the new cover was meeting patient needs.

"Generally we are content with the arrangements but are doing some work to find out more about the type of calls, the sort of patients who are using the service and how well things are working," he said.

In the past GPs were responsible for providing out-of-hours cover and this was provided in Bromsgrove by a consortium of doctors known as BromDoc. But this changed last November when the responsibility for the service was transferred to the Redditch and Bromsgrove Primary Care Trust.

"A patient who is ill outside normal office hours will make a call and initially be assessed by a nurse or duty GP. Advice will be given on the telephone, the patient will be asked to go to one of the out-of-hours NHS centres or a doctor will make a call," said Mr Bucktin.

But the Director of Primary Care admitted that it was now extremely rare for a patient to receive a home visit from a doctor.

The service in Bromsgrove is actually provided by the South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust, which serves the whole of the county on a contract basis.

Medical staff providing the service will either be direct employees of the South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust, will be local doctors prepared to work shifts or will be locum doctors.