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By Debbie le Quesne

GPs’ NO vote on care home calls – it’s not all bad locally

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According to the stats care home residents are an estimated 50 per cent more likely than the average older person to be admitted to hospital as an emergency case.

Now there’s a desperate push to improve on these figures, but the latest stance from the GPs’ Local Medical Committees where delegates voted to not do residential home calls has thrown a serious spanner in the works. I have long been a supporter of improving conditions under which doctors work, but this I perceive as a gross dereliction of duty of care and I know there’s a legal groundswell supporting this stance.

‘Blue light’ cases are costly to the NHS and there are various initiatives afoot to cut back on the numbers of elderly admitted this way.

The financial burden on NHS Trusts appears to have sparked a response that is appears contrary to wishes of the Local Medical Committees’ recent vote.

Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (WCCG) is proposing a system where 12 GP-led practices work together in supporting care homes which have residents with long-term health conditions such as asthma, COPD, and diabetes. Primarily the aim to prevent any unnecessary admissions to hospital.

Under the name Primary Care in Reach Teams (PITs), the service pledges to provide hands-on support to residential care homes in the clinical management of chronic conditions.

These GP practices will work in co-junction with the Rapid Response service, pharmacy and community teams to “enhance the level of care to patients provided by registered GPs.”

This new service will run from this month (February) as a pilot until January 2017. In the first instance to test how beneficial it is to you and therefore a pilot. In a letter sent out to patients, benefits anticipated by WCCG are:

  • “Improving your health and wellbeing by ensuring that you are receiving the most appropriate care
  • “Reducing ill health by intervening earlier
  • “Reducing unnecessary admissions to hospital. “

Care home patients who fall outside of GPs delivering the scheme can register with a participating practice.

In Dudley, a senior CCG spokesperson told West Midlands Care Association a comprehensive response to the doctors’ vote will be announced, but pointed out that the news broken by the Daily Mail “neglects to state that patients will remain registered with the GP practice and therefore the doctor will continue with the responsibilities that fall under primary care.”

In other words, despite the apparent willingness to leave care and nursing homes to their own devices, doctors’ surgeries will still be bound by a legal duty of care responsibility.

 

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