In 1996, BARDOC was founded as the official GP Out of Hours Service for the population of Bury, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale.

In the early 90s, demand for healthcare including GP Out of Hours was on the increase and saw Doctors finding themselves in a position where they did not have the time or capacity to provide an out of hours service for their patients.

At the same time, there were some issues around the quality of the service provided by the then privately run out of hours organisations.

A team of like-minded Doctors from Bury and Rochdale decided to come together and look at forming a local GP co-operative with support from the Local Health Authority and Medical Councils.

The team were supported by the full time secondment of a Project Lead by the Local Health Authority and embarked on a national tour to visit other local GP co-operatives who had first-hand experience of setting up such a service and to learn from their experiences. A business case was put together and presented to local Doctors and the local Primary Care Trust, then known as the Bury and Rochdale Health Authority. This was approved and Bury and Rochdale Health Authority committed themselves to the considerable start up costs that were required to set up a local GP co-operative.

BARDOC was established as a company limited by shares as a true co-operative, whereby the vast majority of all Doctors who signed up to the organisation undertook clinical shifts for BARDOC in the out of hours period.

In early 1996, the team appointed a full time Chief Executive who recruited a management and operational team - many of whom still work for BARDOC today. The months that followed were spent on getting the service ready and focused on:
• Securing premises, IT systems and home visiting cars.
• Governance framework, including policies and procedures.
• Patient Pathways and Management Systems including prescribing and medicines management.
• Communications with local health economy and key stakeholders.
On 1st April 1996, Bury and Rochdale Doctors on Call commenced operations with a team of 112 General Practitioners from 41 GP practices across Bury and Rochdale.

Over the years BARDOC has grown in both scale and stature to deliver additional healthcare services for the benefit of local patients and the NHS. Today we have a multi-disciplinary team of over 250 clinicians and cover 134 GP practices which encompass circa 700,000 patients.