GPs are promising a return to personalised care and better accessibility for the elderly, homecare.co.uk has reported this month.
Around 800,000 people with complex needs, mostly aged over 75, will be offered a ‘proactive enhanced service’ by their practice.
This includes creating an individual care plan, with regular reviews, which will be overseen by one named GP. Same-day access to a GP will be available when service-users need it, Government proposals promise.
A total of 7.5million people should also benefit from longer opening hours, with appointments available between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Moving nearly a million people onto proactive care plans is one of the biggest changes that we need to make in our NHS. People want to know that their parents and relatives will get constant care if they have a long-term condition.
“Many doctors already give great care, but I want to make sure this is completely co-ordinated to head off problems and keep people from going to hospital unnecessarily.”
In many cases, GPs will also be able to contact their patients on Skype or by email.
Prime Minister, David Cameron, called it an “important step and good news for patients” and added: “There has been a great response from doctors, with lots of innovative ideas, and we will now see over seven million patients given weekend and evening opening hours, alongside more access to their family doctor on the phone, via email or even Skype.”
The extended opening hours for GPs will be funded by the Prime Minister’s £50m GP Access Fund, which will support 1,147 practices covering every region to offer extra services for those who struggle to find appointments that fit in with their family and work life.