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GPs go forth

Call to abolish retainers for care home services

By Gareth Iacobucci

A new report has called on the Government to abolish retainer fees charged by GPs for providing standard health services to patients in care homes.

The report by the English Community Care Association (ECCA) says there is a lack of clarity around what services care homes are paying GPs to provide.

‘Can we afford the doctor?' claims that practices are often charging large retainer fees for standard GMS services, with figures that are ‘randomly decided upon' by practices.

It also warns that some care homes have felt ‘compelled' to pay GP retainers because practices have been refusing to accept new registrations.

The report urges ministers to consider scrapping all forms of payment to retainers, which it says is in line with the NHS White Paper's intention of improving GP access for care home residents.

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