GPs likely to become named clinician for vulnerable older people
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has revealed that on-going engagement on the government’s proposals to improve care for vulnerable older people shows GPs are the current favourite to fulfil the role of the named clinician responsible for people’s care.
Over the summer, the Department of Health has been seeking views on the proposals and the best ways to implement them to ensure better health and care for vulnerable older people.
Speaking about plans to alleviate pressure on A&E in the long term, Hunt said that many vulnerable older people end up in A&E simply because they cannot get the care and support they need anywhere else.
He highlighted 3 elements emerging as a result of the on-going engagement on improving care for vulnerable older people with complex health problems. Proposals being put together, in order to be rolled out next year include:
patients should have a named clinician responsible for their care – between hospital, care homes and in their own homes. This is subject to on-going engagement, but current views are that a GP should fill this role
care for older people must be joined up between social care services and the NHS, starting with the £3.8 billion integrated care fund recently announced by the Chancellor
information and patient records must be shared across the NHS and social care services so that accurate clinical information is available at all times to everyone involved in people’s care, and staff can spend more time providing care, not form-filling. By the end of 2014 at least 1/3 A&Es should be able to see the GP records of their patients; and at least 1/3 of NHS111 services to be able to see the GP records of their callers
The changes will reduce the need for repeated trips to A&E, and speed up diagnosis, treatment and discharge home again, when patients do need to go to hospital.