GPs encouraged to continue visiting patients in care homes

In the UK there is always a lot of talk about the constant pressure on the National Health Service, and it’s currently even more of a hot topic than usual. Doctors specifically are under a lot of strain, and being forced to push back against the government over pay and other issues to do with their mounting workload. The British Medical Association was recently forced to speak out, saying they are looking at what they can do to stop care homes being left behind as more inevitable cuts are made.

The fear is that NHS doctors won’t be able to visit the 400 thousand care home residents in the country as often as they should, and there are concerns that this is already becoming the case. Specialists in medical care for older people in care have argued that it is necessary for NHS doctors to continue with routine visits to ensure that their patients are not discriminated against compared to others. With pressure on doctors building, it’s feared that only people who are physically able to travel to surgeries and attend appointments will be seen, and those who have to wait for help to come to them at their care home will be left without that important support.

To ensure this, the BMA has proposed a new plan where it would not only be the responsibility of GPs, but also specially trained teams of nurses and hospital staff who can assist in providing a high standard of support and treatment to residents in UK care homes. This would be managed by a separate contract which would differ from the one GPs follow now, outlining in detail what is required to protect the health of care home residents.

The plans, according to BMA representatives, are designed to help doctors avoid cutbacks in the level of service available by providing clear guidelines. It is understood that it is in nobody’s interests to reduce the level of support offered to care homes, but better and clearer frameworks are required to make the system work given the immense pressure that continues to build on the whole of the NHS.

Meanwhile, it becomes increasingly clear that since the NHS is not fully equipped to deal with the requirements of care homes in the UK, it is still vitally important for private firms to step in where possible. Private care homes and the services involved in running them day-to-day are playing a very important role in protecting and helping residents, so we look forward to seeing more developments and investment in this sector.