'Use LESs to cut admissions'

Local health boards (LHBs) in Wales have been told to work closely with GPs to identify 'frequent fliers' in a bid to cut bed blocking.

GPs’ commitment to care pathways for older, vulnerable patients is patchy, Jeremy Colman, the Auditor General for Wales, said in a report on delayed transfer of care released last week.

LHBs could incentivise GPs to avoid unnecessary admissions and work with GPs with low referral rates, Mr Colman said.

The GMS contract can be used to ‘develop stronger care pathways that reduce admissions to hospitals and improve wellbeing’, he said.

The best way to incentivise GPs to engage in appropriate care pathways would be through local enhanced services, Dr David Bailey, chairman of GPC Wales said.

But he warned against any incentives for GPs not to admit vulnerable patients.

‘Incentivising not admitting people to hospital is a slippery slope. The decision should be entirely clinical and patients are entitled to expect that,’ he said.

The recommendations come as figures revealed a two per cent rise in 2005-7 in the number of days patients stayed in hospital waiting for suitable transfer.

Around £27 million could be freed up for reinvestment in the service by solving the bed-blocking problem, Mr Colman said.


Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published


GP leaders demand urgent funding to maintain safety in general practice

Underfunding and staff shortages in general practice have put patient safety at risk,...

Labour shadow health secretary Wes Streeting

Labour plans neighbourhood walk-in GP centres open seven days a week

Labour would set up new neighbourhood walk-in GP hubs that could be open seven days...

BMA sign

What questions is the BMA asking GPs to shape its vision for general practice?

GPs are being asked for their views on continuity of care, contracts, safe working...

Scotland's cabinet secretary for health and social care Michael Matheson

Primary care will need bigger share of NHS funding in future, Scottish health secretary says

The share of NHS funding that goes to primary care will have to increase if the health...

Sign pointing to hospital

NHS England seeks to clarify GPs' responsibilities when using advice and guidance

New guidance from NHS England has set out the clinical responsibilities and medicolegal...

Widespread joint pain - red flag symptoms

Presentations and red flag symptoms that may alert you to potentially serious conditions...