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GPs should ‘review care home medication every six months’

By Lilian Anekwe

Exclusive: GPs will be advised that patients in care homes should have their medication reviewed at least once every six months as part of new guidance that will also stress the importance of improving care planning.

The British Geriatric Society will publish GP guidance next April to improve care in nursing and residential homes by tightening up medicines-management arrangements, following disturbing findings uncovered by Pulse's recent special investigation.

The guidance will highlight the importance of six-monthly medication reviews by GPs or pharmacists, and the need for a medical and nursing care plan within one month of admission to a care home.

Alex Mair, chief executive of the BGS, said the guidance would also provide recommendations on GP management of Parkinson's disease, stroke, and diabetes, highlight successful LES models and provide GPs with advice on commissioning.

‘The Pulse survey found the majority of GPs needed better access to geriatricians and specialist nurses. These specialists have unique skills that can be used support GPs care of care-home residents,' he said.

‘Our guidance sets out existing national and international clinical guidance and how it applies to care-home settings, and models of care.'

Pulse's special investigation found funding for medical and nursing services for care homes fell by 11% this year, while the number of ‘critical incidents' rose by 80% in the preceding 12 months.

GPs in 90 of the 115 primary care organisations who responded had no access to specialist geriatricians, and in 38% there was no support from community pharmacists.

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Click here to read the results of Pulse's investigation into care homes

GPs should 'review care home medication every six months'