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Warning on care home pay

The Department of Health has renewed its warning to GPs they must not charge nursing homes for NHS services and cannot demand a retainer before taking on patients.

The guidance reiterates GPs can only charge for non-NHS services such as medicines management, occupational health of home staff, and infection control.

GPs have demanded retainers of up to £5,000 from care homes to compensate for the extra work involved in treating their patients.

Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of the BMA's community care committee, said the new contract would end the confusion by making clear that services to nursing homes are not

'essential or core' services.

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