More GPS should be working in care homes and A&E departments to ease the pressure on emergency services, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.
Mr Hunt’s remarks to Radio 4 follow an NHS England pilot, which requires GPs to visit care homes on a weekly basis.
The Health Secretary said: “I think we need to expand the number of GPs operating in care homes, because they can often stop some of the most vulnerable patients [being admitted].
“If you’re an 80 year old patient with dementia an A&E department can be one of the most confusing and bewildering places you can go.”
The BMA’s General Practitioners Committee has called for the NHS to incentivise teams of pharmacists, community nurses, elderly care specialists and GPs to manage care home patients as part of its Urgent Prescription for General Practice report.
The Health Secretary’s comments come amidst a winter crisis in the NHS with patients facing long waits in A&E wards.
The Royal College of Nursing said today that the NHS is in its worst state ever.
Increasing the capacity of care homes to care for the elderly is seen as a key means of alleviating strains on the NHS.
In one of the latest development Northern General Hospital has reached an agreement with care homes in Sheffield to house dozens of patients under a temporary scheme.