Care homes call a halt to GP retainers

Care England has called a halt to the unethical practice of GP retainers. Many care homes throughout the country have to pay GPs to visit residents, which Care England says is clearly at odds with a health service for all.

Professor Martin Green (right), chief executive of Care England said: “Our members will no longer pay retainers to GP practices. This should be no surprise to GPs as we have been making arguments regarding their unfairness for many years. One of our members is paying £70,000 per month and this is unacceptable.

“Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, has gone on record in his Five Year Forward for the NHS, emphasising the importance of care home residents having the access to healthcare that they would if they were living in their own homes.

“We need clarification as to what differentiates basic and enhanced services from a GP. We accept that enhanced services can be paid for and that these arrangements can be independently negotiated between a home and a practice, but as it stands the definition of a basic service offered in the GMS contract is far too vague to enable negotiations to take place in many areas. Clarification is urgently needed and a clear definition must be offered in the contract for 16/17”.   

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