RCGP urges GP funding to underpin elderly care reform

Plans to make named GPs responsible for elderly patients 'at all times' will fail without investment in primary care, the RCGP has warned.

Professor Clare Gerada: invest in general practice
Professor Clare Gerada: invest in general practice

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a consultation last week asking who should be the ‘named clinician’ for vulnerable elderly patients leaving hospital.

He said: 'As a member of the public I would like that to be my GP. But whoever it is they should be named so that patients, families and carers all know where the buck stops.'

RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada said: 'We welcome the government's recognition that care for the elderly and vulnerable needs to be improved.'

She warned that more debate on the 'practical realities' of the proposals was vital, and reiterated concerns that plans to create a £3.8bn pooled fund for health and social care could strip more than 2,000 GPs from the NHS.

'GPs want to improve the continuity and personalisation of patient care, but improvement must be underpinned by investment and what we should be doing is putting more money into mainstream general practice to enable us to strengthen what we know already works well.

'It is time general practice was properly funded to deliver excellent care for all patients, including the elderly and vulnerable.'

The RCGP called for 10,000 more GPs and a substantial investment in primary care as part of its report The 2022 GP.


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