Recent press releases have reported GP’s have voted to stop providing services for residents in Elderly Care Homes. Up to 300 GPs’ representatives from powerful regional bodies voted to end being responsible for the 16,589 care homes in England at a crisis summit last weekend.
Currently, around a third of GPs charge for such services, with fees ranging of between £12,000 and £100,000 a year. The new arrangement will see care homes paying for a contracted firm of GP’s to attend to their resident’s health needs.
Historically, elderly infirm residents would have been looked after on a hospital ward with medical staff in attention.
The present system sees GP’s carrying out routine check-ups on elderly residents, once or twice a week that in addition to call outs when resident’s becomes unwell. The GP’s position is understandable and stress on GP services is great. However, there is a real risk that this could result in a second-class service for residents. Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, added: ‘The whole point of having a family doctor is that its someone who has known you for years and who you trust.
Bettal’s view. Once again the elderly in care homes are being deprived of services that if they lived in their own homes they would receive. Would this situation arise if health and community services, became a seamless entity? Will a new contacted service improve the current service available to residents in care homes in terms of choice and trust, or is this just another means of organising GP services and no doubt increased costs.
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