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Proven benefits from increased GP visits in long-term care

Proven benefits from increased GP visits in long-term care 2018-05-08
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Dr. Sytse Zuidema Dr. Stephen E. Judd

Long-term care (LTC) home residents are in regular need of visits from their General Practitioner (GP) due to often ongoing and complicated healthcare needs, yet only 38% of LTC homes in the UK offer regular visits from GPs. Given that LTC residents are 40-50% more likely to be admitted to a hospital than the general older population, this is a strikingly low number.

A £400,000 pilot scheme funded by the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund and local NHS clinical commissioning groups has been introduced to four LTC homes in London, UK. The pilot scheme, “Health 1000” provides the LTC home residents with daily GP support, which is far from regular practice in the UK.

The initiative has proven beneficial, as a recent evaluation by Nuffield Trust demonstrates a resulting 36% decline in hospital admissions amongst the LTC residents from 2015 to 2017, along with a 53% decrease in days spent in the hospital. One reason for this dramatic decline is that regular GP visits allow health complications to be discussed with residents before they worsen. Due to this overwhelming success, Health 1000 plans to expand this initiative to additional LTC homes in London.

For more information on the importance of GP visits in LTC, contact one of the IFA experts. Prof Zuidema, for example, is an elderly care physician who focuses on complex care issues in long-term care and the consultation of elderly care physicians. Similarly, IFA expert Dr. Judd has immense experience in aged care design.

Interested in learning more about improvements in LTC? Consider attending the International Federation on Ageing's 14th Global Conference, where experts from around the world will gather to discuss critical issues related to ageing, with one conference theme focused on innovations in long-term care.