The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently completed a review into how the healthcare needs of care home residents are met. The review aimed to address how older people living in care homes access healthcare services, whether they have choice and control over their healthcare and whether they receive care that is safe and respects their dignity.
The review, published earlier this month, found that many vulnerable individuals in care homes are struggling to gain access to GP’s and routine medications. The Commission looked at 81 care homes in England and found that only 38% of homes reported receiving regular visits from GP’s. Moreover, one in ten care homes have to pay GP’s to visit their residents.
The situation has been condemned by residents’ family members, care home owners and legal experts alike, with the British Medical Association admitting that the standard of care provided in care homes can vary. Following the publication of the report, Martin Green, chief executive of the English Community Care Association (a group representing the owners of care homes) has suggested that up to one third of residents could be missing out on the full range of GP services that they are entitled to. He said ‘it’s quite clear that in some areas people who live in care homes are not getting the same services that the rest of us are getting who live in the community.’ Indeed, it is without doubt that the results of this review cannot be ignored; immediate action must be taken to dramatically improve the healthcare services provided to elderly people in care homes.