Practices are to face new pressure to set up enhanced support programmes for care homes, it has been revealed.
NHS officials have been ordered to produce a “clear plan and timetable” for the project – with a view to setting up services over the winter, the Health Service Journal revealed. A government taskforce wants practices to undertake weekly reviews of care homes as part of a winter action plan. The plan has been developed partly because of the crisis in care homes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and partly because care homes play a key role in NHS winter pressures.
Plans for regular GP visits to care homes were rejected by the profession last year in contract negotiations and a compromise finally agreed which would involve deploying staff from primary care networks to homes. The “enhanced health in care homes” project would require primary care networks to designate a clinical lead for care homes and develop personalised care for residents.
An adult social care winter plan, produced for England by the Department of Health and Social Care, states: “The NHS has announced that the enhanced care in care homes initiative will be rolled out, across the country, by 1 October. In order to take full advantage of this comprehensive approach to all 15,500 care homes across the country, there needs to be information provided to the care sector about the clinical support role, what each home can expect and their responsibilities in receiving this service.”