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GPs call for unplanned admissions DES to be scrapped

The GPC has been urged to negotiate for the scrapping of the avoiding unplanned admissions DES for next year’s GP contract.

LMCs voted in favour of a motion which called on the Government to abolish the enhanced service because it lacks evidence; has not been effective in its aim of reducing hospital pressures; has distracted GPs from caring for patients; puts GPs in medico-legal danger and ‘was always destined to fail’.

Proposing the motion, Dr Lee Salkeld from Avon LMC said: ‘Despite their care plans, some people still need hospitals and let us not forget that this enhanced service is entirely non-evidence based… Despite having thousands of care plans in situ for the winter of 2014/15, the NHS and its A&E departments nearly ground to a halt.’

He concluded: ‘This overly complex, non-evidence based enhanced service was never going to have any [significant] impact on reducing hospital admissions because most hospital admissions do not actually occur in the highest risk group but in the other 98% of our patients.

The avoiding unplanned admissions DES was first introduced with the 2014/15 GP contract but came under critique for heavy workloads and bureaucracy.

It was renewed for 2015/16, despite experts indicating there was no evidence of its effect and despite the number of unplanned admissions rising in 2014/15.

The motion in full:

AVON: That conference calls on the government to abolish the unplanned admissions enhanced service for 2016/17 as it:

(i) lacks evidence as a policy (ii) has not achieved its intended aims, as A&Es are inundated with patients and hospitals struggle to cope with demand

(iii) has meant clinicians have had to focus on processes and paperwork rather than on patients

(iv) puts GPs in medico legal danger

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(v) was always destined to fail.

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