NHS England has abandoned plans to provide fortnightly GP visits to care homes in England. Instead, in an update to the GP contract agreement 2020/21 to 2023/24 NHS England has reduced the service to medical input “that is appropriate and consistent” and of a frequency and form decided by the GP-led Primary Care Network.
It is likely that a multidisciplinary team (MDT) including but not exclusively comprising GPs, will deliver this service. NHS England also envisages that digital technology may support the weekly home round and facilitate the medical input.
In return for the new service format and in recognition of this workload, GPs will receive £120 per bed per year from 30 September. Delivery plans for the new service should be agreed by 31 July and personalised care and support in place by 30 September.
The service is expected to concentrate efforts on residents with complex and problematic polypharmacy, specifically those on 10 or more medications, medicines commonly associated with medication errors, residents with severe frailty or who are particularly isolated, who have had recent hospital admissions and/or falls; and using potentially addictive pain management medication
Under the updated proposals, practices will also benefit from 100 per cent reimbursement of PCN support roles, which should increase the number of clinical pharmacists and other MDT roles available to care homes.