One third of GPs are charging charitable care homes extra fees
for looking after residents, a report from a group of charities
While two-thirds of GPs provided primary care to older residents
within the allowances they receive from the NHS to care for
residents, the remainder charged extra for many of the same
services. For example, while 80 per cent of GPs gave the winter flu
jab free of charge, 20 per cent said homes had to pay for it as it
was a contracted service.
GPs can charge care homes with retainer fees to provide services
above and beyond core NHS services. These fees are paid from a mix
of subsidies from charities and charges on individual residents.
The report found that while the average retainer was £41 per
person, in some cases this soared to £150.
The survey covered sheltered housing, residential care and
nursing homes. It was carried out by several charities working with
older people, including Help the Aged and the Alzheimer’s Society.
They are calling for the government to come up with a clearer
definition of what constitutes cores NHS services so that older
people are not charged twice.