Over 75s are set to get access to the traditional family doctor in a new wave of health reforms which has been welcomed in Blackpool.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced on Friday that millions of elderly people would get a dedicated GP who would be personally accountable for their care around the clock for their physical and mental conditions. It’s hoped the move will help reduce hospital admissions.
Under the reforms, doctors would be responsible for offering same-day telephone consultations, opening a dedicated telephone line for paramedics, A&E doctors and care homes for treatment advice and regularly reviewing emergency admissions from care homes to avoid unnecessary call-outs in the future.
They will also monitor and report on the quality of out-of-hours care.
Barbara Thomas, of Blackpool Senior Voice Forum, said: “I personally agree with this because just reading notes from a computer does not give you the full history of the patient.
“It is frustrating having to explain everything I am going through every time I see a doctor, and as you get older you get more forgetful. When I visit the doctor I am only concerned about what is troubling me in that moment. I forget about my blood pressure, breathing problems and everything else that is not bothering me there and then.
“The doctor really need to know the full history.”
But Mrs Thomas, 74 of North Shore, is uncertain how effective the changes will be in Blackpool.
She added: “Unfortunately, Blackpool has a very transient population and it would be very difficult for local doctors to really be able to deal with. As it is now, when you ring the doctor you never know when you will get an appointment.
Dr Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer at Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Blackpool CCG welcomes the reduction in bureaucracy that this contract enables and the consequent freeing up of GP time to concentrate on pro-active care for our most vulnerable patients.
“As clinical commissioners we know that this is crucial to looking after people better out of hospital and reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.
“This new contract is a step in the right direction.”