Care England has slammed a GPS vote to remove home visits from their core work.
The vote took place at the Local Medical Committee (LMC) England Conference last week.
Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO, of Care England, said: “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 individual’s needs at the centre.”
Martin added: “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 Care Home Vanguard Framework states: “In the EHCH model, care providers work in partnership with local GPs, community healthcare providers, hospitals, social care, individuals and their families, and wider public services to deliver care in people’s homes as well as in care homes. Services are ‘wrapped around’ the individual and their family, who are connected to and supported by their local community. Proactive, personalised care and support becomes the norm.”
A BMA spokesperson told CHP the vote did not mean that all home or care home visits would stop, adding GPs were simply asking for a properly commissioned, resourced and staffed service so that the best care is ensured for both patients who need visits and those who are coming into practices.
Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said: “NHS general practice has changed immeasurably since its birth 70 years ago, and today’s GP simply does not have the capacity to make home visits as part of a routine surgery day. GP representatives feel that continuing to provide home visits for a few will reduce the level of care they’re able to give to the majority of patients. Of course, patients who can be treated only at home will still need to be seen – and NHS England will need to ensure this happens outside of the GP contract, with any changes communicated clearly and sensitively to patients.”