A call for GPs to improve care for elderly people
- 10 Sep
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says that elderly people feel there is no reliable alternative to hospital.
This is believed to be due to the previous Labour government's system where it is now "easier to go to A&E and harder to go and see a GP," Mr Hunt wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Hunt says that GPs need to do more to help and supervise elderly people's care and treatment in other parts of the NHS.
"We need a much better way for vulnerable old people to journey through the NHS," he wrote.
"They need someone from the service to be keeping tabs on them and championing them through the system all the time - and making sure they're a name, not a number, whether or not they are in hospital.
"As a member of the public I would like that responsible person to be my GP - but of course they will need support from many others, including our dedicated district nurses."
"Since the last government's misguided changes to the GP contract, it's become easier to go to A&E and harder to go and see a GP. In fact, we've got to a point where A&E staff know some patients better than their own GPs," he wrote.
"Of course, GPs don't want it to be this way, and are themselves working harder than ever before. But sadly the 2004 contract changes undermined the personal link between them and their patients, as well as imposing a whole range of bureaucratic burdens.
"Labour's intentions, as ever, were good. But the effect was to make it harder for GPs to be family doctors and give them less time for patients."
Picture source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/945156
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