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GPs deny poor elderly care charge

GPs have hit back at report findings that they provide substandard services to elderly patients.

The joint report from the Healthcare Commission, Audit Commission and Commission for Social Care Inspection, Living Well Later in Life, criticised GPs for failing to perform six-month reviews for older patients taking four or more medications.

Out-of-hours support for the elderly was branded as 'patchy'.

But GPs said lack of Government investment lay behind the problems and predicted the situation would worsen with the UK's ageing population.

Dr Nick Summerton, professor of primary care at the University of Hull, said GPs were best qualified to work with elderly patients' complex needs but had been stripped of resources and responsibilities to do it.

He said: 'Modern matrons, pharmacists and health workers have been a disappointment. It boils down to whether PCTs are going to take the "happy clappy" route or let properly trained health professionals do their job.'

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