Tailored care for older patients
Published on 14 April 2014 02:00 PM
Hundreds of thousands of older people are to receive tailored health care as part of new plans introduced by the Government.
Around 800,000 individuals over the age of 75 and those with more serious health complaints will benefit from care that is coordinated by just one of their local GPs.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens have set out the proposals for the Transforming Primary Care programme to help personalised care in the community, which will mostly benefit the older population.
'Moving nearly a million people on to proactive care plans is one of the biggest changes that we need to make in our NHS,' said Mr Hunt.
'People want to know that their parents and relatives will get constant care if they have a long-term condition. Many doctors already give great care but I want to make sure this is completely coordinated to head off problems and keep people from going to hospital unnecessarily.'
GP opening hours scheme to benefit 7.5 million people
Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, has announced that more than 7.5 million people are going to be able to see their family doctors outside of work hours thanks to a new multimillion-pound fund.
They will be offered increased access to their GP services through extended opening times and new consultation methods using video-phone services, email and phone.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association's General Practice Committee, said: 'These changes will need to be properly supported.
'The Government must take further action so that community, social and urgent care work in tandem to deliver truly holistic care to patients.
'Ministers must also deliver on their commitment to increase resources in the community so that there are more GPs, nurses and other health and social care services to provide coordinated care to the escalating number of patients who need care closer to home.
'This will enable GPs to be properly supported and have the time and ability to deliver the personalised care that patients deserve.'
The £50 million GP Access Fund will mean that patients at 1,147 GP practices across England will be able to see their family doctor outside of working hours. This will include late night and weekend appointments or the use of one of the modern consultation tools for convenience.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: 'Globally, research and good practice show that proactive, individually tailored GP care helps older people to stay well and live independently for longer.
'So, while there's a lot further to go, these new measures mark an important and very welcome step towards equipping the NHS to care better for some of its most vulnerable users - older people with complex needs.'
Copyright Press Association 2014