Medacs Healthcare

OCT 25/2013

Care homes 'should have GP record access'

Care workers are required to stay in close communication with other healthcare staff in order to ensure that residents are receiving the correct treatments.

However, the health secretary has recommended that care homes should be able to access and update the GP records of their residents in order to provide more detailed information about each individual and their carer needs.

Speaking at the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Harrogate, Jeremy Hunt explained that he wanted to see a "system where residential care providers can access GP records and update how a person is so the GP can go round or send a practice nurse around".

This is an example of a more joined-up health service, which the government has been keen to push over the past year and would see a greater level of communication between different healthcare providers.

By storing residents' health records all in one place this could speed up administration, improving the efficiency and also accuracy of care.

Within his speech Mr Hunt went on to say that he did not support the introduction of national ratios for safe staffing levels in care homes. He explained that this matter was more complex and should be judged on a case by case basis.

"The strong advice I've received is, it's dangerous to have a national ratio because safe staffing varies depending on the level of need. The danger is that everyone thinks, if they've met the number, that their staffing is safe when it might not be," he added.

Mr Hunt said that the Care Quality Commission inspections, which are due to be carried out over the next few months, would be looking carefully into the working conditions of carers to ensure that they are happy, motivated and looked after well by their employers. This ensures that they will also provide the best level of care for their patients.

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