The British Medical Association has responded to a report
criticising GPs for charging charitable care homes for their
Dr Andrew Dearden, chairperson of the BMA’s community care
committee, said the association has been asking the government for
the last seven years to implement a nationwide scheme to increase
NHS medical care available to nursing homes.
A third of GPs charge extra fees for attending to older people
in care homes, a report from Help the Aged, the Alzheimer’s Society
and several other charities claimed.
But Dearden said that in 19 out of 20 health authorities there
is no NHS provision for extended services, and general
practitioners are left with few options.
GPs could decide on no additional services at all, they could
supplement the NHS without any financial support or resources,
which would impact on the care of other patients, or they could
provide extra services under a non-NHS arrangement to those willing
He said: “We believe that every health authority must develop
medical services for people in residential and nursing homes, and
for the highly dependent patients in the community, for example,
developing a community geriatric service comparable with the
community psychiatric teams or intermediate care schemes
specifically for patients in residential care.”