SCIE opinion - 12 November 2013
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GP services for older people: a guide for care home managers
From the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health
I thoroughly welcome this guide. Care homes have a frontline role and operate in often demanding circumstances. The guidance offered here will be immensely helpful for their staff.
The health and care needs of older people present a particular challenge. Two-thirds of over-75s have a long-term condition. I know from my own visits that the best care homes do an extraordinary job, and make a massive difference to people’s lives.
Establishing better links between GPs and care homes will help address problems at an earlier stage, reduce pressure on A&E and provide enormous reassurance to residents and their families. So SCIE is absolutely right to promote a joined-up relationship between care homes, GPs and other primary care services, and to say that we must ‘place the resident at the centre of the picture’.
SCIE is also right to outline what care homes can do in terms of record-keeping and medications management. And I particularly welcome the stress on resident feedback and involving individuals in decisions about their care.
This Guide shows how care home managers can work with GPs, primary care services and others to ensure that residents can expect to receive the same access to NHS care as any of us. This is why we have recently announced the changes to next year’s GP contract to promote personalised care and provide a named GP for all patients aged 75 and over, including those in care homes. The contract will also help to ensure that providers such as care homes can easily contact the GP practice by telephone to support decisions relating to hospital transfers or admissions.
It is time to raise our expectations of primary care for people in care homes. This timely and useful SCIE Guide helps us do just that.
The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health