GPs voted in favour of removing care home visits from their 2016/17 contract at last weekend’s Special Conference of Local Medical Committees. This comes as GPs are in the process of renegotiating their contract to provide GP services for the forthcoming year.
The move to consider patients from care homes separately from all others is not intended to place care home residents at a detriment. It would acknowledge the increasingly complex nature of care home patients who would otherwise have been placed in hospital. What has been suggested is a contract that would run in conjunction with the ‘general’ GP contract which would cater for care home residents.
Research has found that 9/10 GPs believe that workload pressures are affecting the quality of care given to patients. This motion is designed to ease the pressure on GPs and acknowledge the additional time and effort that is required to visit high need care home residents. If the proposal is accepted by the Government it will probably lead to increased demand for GPs but will also properly reflect the realities of GP practice.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of BMA’s GP committee said: –
“This motion asks for the BMA to discuss with the government a separate contract for patients in care homes that reflects their additional needs, so that they can get the comprehensive care they deserve. This is not about GPs not looking after patients in care homes or withdrawing services: it is about them being able to provide focused care with the right resources and range of other staff to ensure that older patients with multiple medical needs get the service they deserve.”