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GP alignment into Sunderland's care homes

A lady gave us a call to state that the Sunderland based care home where her mother lives had recently been aligned to a local GP practice and she had been asked if she would like to change her mother's GP to that surgery.

The GP Alignment to Care Homes across the city is now well underway after an extensive pilot period in the Coalfield areas of Sunderland. Each home across the city has now been aligned to a GP practice which facilitates regular visits from GPs to the home as well as District Nurses, Care Home Nurses and other healthcare professionals.  They meet together to discuss the health and wellbeing of residents (Multi-Disciplinary Teams or MDTs).
Some Care Home Managers have reported to us that this system has seen a reduction of hospital admissions for their residents.

The lady who called us had some concerns about the GP Alignment and asked us if there had been any consultation with carers carried out prior to the work going ahead in our city.

We contacted the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and their Clinical Vice Chair stated; “Indeed there has been extensive consultation with care home managers and the staff as well as patients. In fact, aligning to care homes will probably be contractual requirement in the future as per the indications from NHS England.

Patient choice is paramount therefore the process is always voluntary and patients will need to make an informed decision about whether to register with a new GP or stay with their existing one.

Patients will still receive their normal care from their GP whether the home is aligned or not. They however, may not be able to receive the enhanced service of regular care home rounds.”

The lady who made the query said; “Thank you for looking into this for me, I am happy to receive a response and will discuss this further with the Sunderland Carers Centre.”

A copy of the email was sent to the lady by post for her information.

Published 04.06.2019



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