In all areas of West Sussex, GP practices are able to offer extra support to their care home patients. A number of different support packages are available dependent on location and to cover the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not all practices will have capacity to provide all of these services. Contact your local GP to see what is available.
Crawley, Horsham and Mid-Sussex areas
GPs can provide support to local care homes by reviewing new admissions and again after six months and also by visiting the home weekly.
Coastal West Sussex area
GPs can support care homes under the local Quality Improvement Scheme with an assessment of new admissions and ongoing review every six months.
New arrangements for COVID-19
Extra support has been put in place for care homes. Each care home will have a named clinical lead they are able to contact and details of these will be sent out to care homes shortly. This clinical lead is not a direct patient-facing role but is the conduit for care homes to access health care support in a crisis.
GPs are now able to offer extra access to care home patients on weekends and bank holidays for telephone or video consultations. Additional support could include the following features:
- Direct telephone or video consult access to a GP or Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP).
- Care home teams to call GP/ANP before, and in preference to, calling 111/999 in the event of an urgent or emergency medical problem arising (unless the situation and care plan make 999 the most appropriate action).
- GP having remote access to patient records and be able to prescribe electronically (ePS).
- GP/ANPs to proactively call each care home, at an agreed time(s), at least once each day that they are covering.
GP/ANPs are not expected to do face-to-face assessment as part of the additional access.
The additional support can operate between 8am to 10pm, on weekends and bank holidays. Each practice or group of practices range of additional support will be determined by its capacity, so please contact your practice as hours may vary.
This additional support is temporary, for the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Practices will continue to provide their usual support to care homes during regular operating hours.
Practices are also able to offer support to residents of care homes who are resident on a temporary basis, for example in step down beds. Under this scheme, residents will be registered as temporary residents of the practice.
Recent national guidance has stated that support for care homes at this time should include a weekly check-in and support to develop personalised care plans. This could be under one of the schemes listed above, but where these are not available, alternative arrangements will be put in place. Confirmation of these arrangements will be available shortly.