Special LMCs conference: GPs demand separate contract for care home patients

GP leaders have demanded separate contractual arrangements for looking after patients in care homes, and demanded better core funding to help practices cope with home visits.

GPs at the special LMCs conference in London on 30 January rejected calls for a separate contract to pay for home visits, after speakers warned against fragmentation of primary care.

But LMC representatives backed calls for separate contractual arrangements for care for care home residents or those in similar residential facilities, and for medical certification of illness and travel advice.

Dr Stefan Kuetter from Buckinghamshire told the conference: 'You can’t say no for fear of being labelled uncaring or missing something. So you go on your visit, which takes you out of the surgery for an hour. Time spend in care homes is disproportionately higher than time with other patients in the community. It's not fair.

Special LMCs conference: full coverage

'We are funded to operate like a food bank, given just enough to provide people with the bare minimum, but the public is told to use us like an all-you-can-eat diner.'

Devon GP Dr Sam Hilton said: 'We all know there is an ageing population. In Devon it has already aged. The only efficient way to look after care homes is to do ward rounds, but there's not enough time.'

But he warned that separate contractual arrangements could fragment primary care, and demanded better funding to support GPs through the core contract.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey backed this call, warning that he wanted to provide holistic care for his patients.

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