Do GPs see residents as a soft option for rationed services?
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
News that the GP committee of the British Medical Association has voted to discontinue services to care homes has raised a lot of eyebrows. Can GPs do this? Can they abandon a tranche of the population on the basis of their domestic living arrangements?
It’s a big question, but GPs have big problems; there are not enough of them and unless the shortage can be addressed effectively, their services are going to have to be rationed in some way. But I don’t think care home residents should be the sacrificial lambs.
A GP is a key member of the team in providing high quality care to frail elderly people with multiple morbidities and their services to care home residents are delivered very efficiently; there are few instances of GPs being called on unless their skills are truly needed. Contrast this with so many GP waiting rooms, full of waiting people, a good percentage of whom really don’t need to be there.
The waste of GPs’ time resulting from inappropriate self-referral is not an easy problem to address but that’s no justification for depriving care home residents of the primary care to which they are entitled.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.