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GPs to be assigned to care homes to provide ‘tailored treatment and support’

The Government has pledged greater support for care home residents to try and decrease hospital admissions.

The new measures will see healthcare professionals assigned to care homes across the UK, where they can get to know individual residents’ needs, provide tailored treatment and support and offer emergency out-of-hours care.

It was announced alongside the extra £3.5bn in funding for primary and community healthcare, and new rapid response teams to treat patients in the community.

The government claimed that over a third of hospital admissions from care homes were avoidable, and pledged that these new measures would give more personalised, convenient and timely care.

There was little detail in the announcement, but the Government statement did say that it was based on a ‘successful’ pilot.

It said that the Prime Minister was announcing ‘the national roll-out of a successful pilot that sees healthcare professionals assigned to care homes where they get to know individual residents’ needs and can provide tailored treatment and support. The teams include pharmacists and GPs who can also offer emergency care out of hours’.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: ‘Too often people end up in hospital not because it’s the best place to meet their needs but because the support that would allow them to be treated or recover in their own home just isn’t available.’

‘Many of us might assume that hospital is the safest place to be – but in reality many patients would be much better off being cared for in the community.’

Dr John Ashcroft, GP and former deputy chair of Derbyshire LMC, said: ‘We’ve had a community nursing team visiting patients in nursing homes and that’s been quite helpful, and we have another team that goes out and visits patients.’

However, he added that he had concerns that the funding for this and similar schemes will end up outside general practice.

He said: ‘Will this money just end up in the community trust? Why’s it not going into core general practice? Because the Government and the Department of Health don’t believe in general practice, don’t believe or trust general practice.’