Patients from five east coast GP practices who live in care homes will soon receive ‘home visits’ from paramedics as part of an innovative new scheme.
Primary Care Lincolnshire Medical Services GP Federation (PCLMS) has secured funding from NHS England to trial the idea across the practices in Alford, Louth, Mablethorpe and Skegness.
It is hoped it will help manage the needs of patients in care homes, while easing the workload on GPs and their practices.
The proof of concept initiative will last for 12 months.
It will see the GP practices work with East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to provide specialist paramedics to assess and treat their patients in care homes who require a ‘GP’ visit. It is not intended as an emergency service.
Calls to practices for visits to care home patients will be assessed by the practices, who will then dispatch the paramedics as required.
Dr Carl Deaney, director of PCLMS, said: “As we know, the east coast has particular problems with attracting sufficient clinical staff, and is an area with high level of demands and patient needs.
“This initiative will bring additional clinicians into the area, to work differently and develop partnerships between primary care, EMAS and their paramedics and care homes.
“Other benefits of a care home visiting service include providing quicker responses to patients’ requests for visits, reducing demand on GPs and their practices through reducing their travelling which will enable them to see other patients and reducing the number of patients taken to hospital by treating them in their homes where this is clinically appropriate.
“The scheme will also help to develop the understanding and confidence in care homes and their staff in managing their patients at times of illness.
“The care home visiting service will be implemented in time to help support the five practices during winter.”
The five practices taking part in this proof of concept initiative are:
Marisco Medical Practice, Mablethorpe
Merton Lodge Surgery, Alford
Marsh Medical Practice, Manby
Beacon Medical Practice, Skegness
Hawthorn Medical Practice, Skegness