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GPs 'refusing' to visit care home patients

Published on 13 March 2012 02:30 PM

Numbers of unwell care home residents are being left untreated because doctors are refusing to visit them.

That is according to a BBC investigation, which found one family had to battle to get a GP to come out to see their 71-year-old father as he lay suffering from pneumonia in a care home in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Radio 5 live Investigates programme found that his GP had on three occasions in as many months either refused to visit or had reluctantly made a visit.

Both the British Medical Association (BMA) and the English Community Care Association (ECCA), a group representing the owners of care homes, suggest the problem is widespread.

The BMA agreed that the quality of care given to care homes could vary, while the ECCA maintains up to one in three residents could be being denied the full set of GP services to which they are entitled.

Martin Green, from the ECCA, told BBC Radio 5 live: 'There is really bad practice out there. We have got to get out of the habit of saying "there's some good practice".'

Care home managers say some doctors are instead offering a diagnosis over the phone - a move they slam as unsatisfactory and dangerous.

The GP involved in the Stoke-on-Trent incident has since retired and has refused to comment.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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