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1740: Managing the care home burden

Dr Stewart Findlay's Bishop Auckland practice covers six care homes, and faces the challenge of providing high-quality but cost-effective care.

In addition to running our own practice, we also look after several local nursing homes.

This nursing home PMS Practice began in 2003 as a PCT-led practice and was set up to deal with the huge workload generated by a large nursing home in one of our local villages. Although this PCT-led practice worked well and won several awards, it was not cost-effective and was unable to live within the PMS budget that had been allocated to it.

In 2006 it was passed to our practice to run and since then we have remained within budget and continued to provide a consistently high-quality nurse practitioner-led service. We are particularly pleased with our end of life pathway and we hold regular meetings with care home staff.

Today our nurse practitioners have already dealt with 17 visits across the 6 homes we look after, and have taken a further 30 advice calls.

Care homes are now a huge burden on primary care and if they are not managed well will result in sub-optimal care for residents. Poor care will ultimately impact on our secondary care services as patients are admitted or referred to A&E unnecessarily.

Dr Stewart Findlay