The NHS Alliance broadly welcomes today’s announcement on the changes to the GP Contract, especially the focus on continuity of care for the frail elderly. While we are happy that the general practitioner will play a central in coordinating care, we would hope that they would look to work with the wider community team to support them in this task, including, for example, pharmacists, nurses, housing associations and mental health organisations in care planning.
We also support a reduction in the bureaucracy around QOF, which will give hard pressed practices more time to do what they’re best at; providing high quality care. Additionally we welcome the introduction of the Friends and Family Test into general practice which will help both practices and GPs to obtain direct and rapid patient feedback, as well as the proposal that patients will be able to book their appointments online and have access to their own records.
Dr Ken Aswani, GP in Waltham Forest, said: “This proposed change to the GP contract does provide an opportunity to strengthen the continuity and overall quality of care we provide to our frail and elderly patients. This should allow GPs to engage more effectively with established community and social services and provide integrated services at a personal level.”
Merron Simpson, NHS Alliance housing lead said: “The housing, living, and social conditions of a frail older person can make a big difference to their physical and mental wellbeing. Local housing service providers are natural allies for GPs, and they should seek them out as partners if they want to provide truly coordinated care in their local areas.”