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GPs asked to do outstanding medicals for prospective adoptive parents and foster carers


pre-eclampsia check


GP practices are being encouraged to do any outstanding medicals for prospective adoptive parents or foster carers.

In a joint statement, the BMA and RCGP said that while the requirement for GP practices to continue to offer health assessments comes at a time when GPs are focused on the pandemic and vaccination, ‘they are necessary to maintain sufficient safe placements for vulnerable children’.

Temporary arrangements were introduced by the Government to create more flexibility in the system and allow health assessments to be accepted at any part of the process to approve a potential adoptive parents or foster carers.

As the pandemic continues to put pressure on services, the arrangements have been extended to September 2021, the BMA and RCGP said.

But a final decision cannot be made without a health assessment and some prospective adopters and carers have postponed as long as possible are are now only waiting for their medical report.

‘The temporary regulations do not remove the need for medical reports as they still must be obtained before the relevant agency can come to a decision on the suitability of the prospective adopters and foster carers,’ the joint statement said.

‘These medical assessments are an important safeguard for both the adults and the children, and they are a statutory requirement.

‘A final decision cannot be made without a medical report being obtained and considered as part of the suitability assessment.’

The statement said the numbers affected were relatively small but the impact on both adults and children was considerable.

‘The RCGP and the BMA recognise that the requirement for GP practices to continue to offer adult health assessments for these patients is pressure on an already stretched service.

‘However, they are necessary to maintain sufficient safe placements for vulnerable children. We would like to encourage GP practices to undertake these assessments where possible.’

The news comes as the BMA’s GP Committee chair told Pulse last week that BMA and RCGP workload advice for GP practices, which says they can ‘pause’ non-essential work, ‘remains relevant’ going into April.

READERS' COMMENTS [3]

Dave Haddock 7 April, 2021 3:17 pm

These medicals are not part of contractual work. Practitioners might quite reasonably decide that taking on non-contractual work might endanger their ability to meet contractual requirements and provide adequate care for their patients.
Practitioners might quite reasonably decide that the remuneration offered for this non-contractual work is not sufficient compensation for the time, expertise and medicolegal risk involved.

Dave Haddock 7 April, 2021 3:19 pm

It’s the bma’s job to represent the interests of doctors, not patients.

Charles Richards 8 April, 2021 3:33 pm

GPs also asked to do:
1. Provide appointments for 111 to book
2. Immediate advice to ambulance crews
3. Minor injuries (Walk in services stopped)
4. DMARD initiation and dosing (as tertiary clinics become nurse led)
5. Antenatal care (nonprescribing unsupported MW now lead)
6. Visiting well patients in care homes fortnightly (PCN DES)
7. Covid Imms and booking (now regional centres closing)
8. Chase and manage OPD investigations and onward referrals
9. New NHS reforms (speed up of future reforms promised)
10. Manage 4-500 WTE GP annual reductions, for a decade

I could go on….