All care home residents are entitled to free care from a GP, and
homes should not be required to pay a retainer fee, according to
updated guidance from the Department of Health.
It states that “all residents of care homes can expect the full
range of personal medical services and the same rights of access to
primary care as any other patient group”, and that the “service is
free at the point of delivery”.
However, the guidance for care home managers adds that it is not
unusual for a care home to contract for services that the NHS does
not normally need to provide to patients on an individual basis,
such as safe management and control of medicines.
Andrew Dearden, chairperson of the British Medical Association’s
community care committee, warned that any doctors who claimed they
would not take on patients unless they were given money were
“sailing very close to the wind”.
– Updated guidance from