The recent proposal from the Kent GP Local Medical Committee at the LMC England conference to remove home visits from a GPs core work, will alarm people living in the thousands of care homes across the country. Care homes are people’s homes and people living in these settings are not always able to travel to doctors’ surgeries.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“Care homes care for our most frail and vulnerable and we have a duty as a society to ensure their healthcare needs are met. The NHS Long Term Plan is focused on enhancing healthcare input for care home residents including visits from a GP. The recent pronouncements are contrary to our understanding of good practice demonstrated by the NHS Care home vanguard programme”.
The NHS Enhanced Healthcare in Care Homes vanguard programme[i] resulted in a national framework which talks about the role GPs play in promoting and delivering the healthcare needs of people living in care homes. That engagement will not always mean visits and the use of skype and other technologies support person centred care, but technology cannot replace the face to face reassurance from talking to your GP. This is what we all want, care home residents equally many of whom are not able to travel.
Martin Green continues:
“We think the public and relatives of people in care homes would be shocked if GPs took a stance to no longer visit care homes and it flies in the face of national policy and demonstrated good practice.
Care homes want to work with GPs and primary and community services more widely as part of an integrated health and social care system putting the individuals needs at the centre.”
As we go to the polls, we encourage care providers and families and friends to question candidates on their health and social care pledges. Care England’s vision for a long term plan is set out in its manifesto. http://www.careengland.org.uk/sites/careengland/files/Care%20England%20Manifesto%202019%20website_0.pdf