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GPs need free time to help elderly in the community, says Hunt

The health secretary has said he wants to ‘free up’ GPs’ time so that they can devote more hours to helping frail older people.

Speaking at the Nuffield Trust’s Health Policy Summit 2013, Jeremy Hunt called on GPs to take a greater role in helping frail elderly people in the community. However, he gave no indication about how he intended to free up this time.

He said: ‘We need to free up GP time to play more of a role in looking after the frail elderly before they end up walking through the surgery door. We need to help people with long term conditions so that their problems are not left until they reach tipping point and they are taken to A&E.’

The Government announced a controversial new dementia DES in December as part of its proposed contract changes, which will compel GPs to screen elderly patients for the signs of dementia.

However, the BMA has criticised the policy, claiming it is unsupported by evidence and is contradictory to NICE and National Screening Committee policy.

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Readers' comments (15)

  • Freeing up time by increasing the QOF thresholds to unachievable levels? Or by introducing unworkable and evidence-less initiatives? Thanks Mr Hunt!

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  • How out of touch this man is!
    "Freeing up GP time" mean planning to add extra work in the name of "STEP UP" services where GP will be called (By Paramedics/Team of Nurses) to assess every patient before they are taken to hospital

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  • Vinci Ho

    It is really not that difficult to be a politician. Say things that are politically correct like ' My mother is a female and my father is a male.' Your rear end is always covered.

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  • Hadrian Moss

    Dear Mr Hunt,
    I'm contracted to provide a service and so far all you've done is increase my workload. Which part are you going to remove to give me "free time"?
    Oh, I get it, you meant I give up more of my own free time. Silly me!

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  • Load of nonsense!
    Every GP should sign up with each political party so that they have some idea what GPs are up against! I think Mr Hunt is totally inexperienced novice politician who time to time pass baseless comments!

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  • Murdoch's chair leader

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  • I'm fed up with seeing that daft grin and comments unconnected with reality. Go, just go !

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  • More hours in the contract for no more pay, what are you doing this weekend - not dealing with the elderly?

    I know lets free up GPs from all this commissioning nonesense and hand it over to private companies, to divvy up contracts amongst themselves, now there is no need to tender services to ensure openness and transparency when commissioners (GPs?) award contracts.

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  • I totally agree with the sentiment of the Secretary of State, I think there is a general widespread acceptance that GP's are working hard and many long hours on average 10-12 hours a day.
    Some thing has to give... otherwise the general practice we all love and are proud to be part off will end.... soon

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